Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday December 30, 2007 - Sunday Services Cumberland Ward

Sacrament Meeting
I was the first speaker today. The youth speaker and first speaker did not make it to church today. After I finished the bishop shared a few thoughts with us.

My Talk
One of my favorite scriptures from the life of the Savior is a conversation Jesus had with Peter after many people were leaving the Savior because of being offended by the truths that he shared with them. It is found in John 6:67-68 and it reads - “Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”

I again thought of this scripture when listening to the following story from a talk in General conference by Elder Douglas L. Callister Of the Seventy.

“Years ago I presided over a mission headquartered in the Midwest. One day, with a handful of our missionaries, I spoke with an esteemed representative of another Christian faith. This gentle soul spoke of his own religion's history and doctrine, eventually repeating the familiar words: 'By grace ye are saved. Every man and woman must exercise faith in Christ in order to become a saved being.'

“Among those present was a new missionary. He was altogether unfamiliar with other religions. He had to ask the question, "But, sir, what happens to the little baby who dies before he is old enough to understand and exercise faith in Christ?" The learned man bowed his head, looked at the floor, and said, 'There ought to be an exception. There ought to be a loophole. There ought to be a way, but there isn't.'

“The missionary looked at me and, with tears in his eyes, said, 'Goodness, President, we do have the truth, don't we!'”

After I listened to Elder Callister's story I thought to myself as I have many times before, “If I believe the critics of the Church or cave to my own weaknesses and I left the Church where else would I go? The Lord has already given me the words of eternal life.”

Purpose of the Life of the Savior
I would now like to talk about the purpose of the Savior's life. Two purposes of the life of the Savior that I would like to present are to be an example and to give us life.

The Savior Give Us Life
-Resurrection – He gives us life by His resurrection, which gives us redemption from physical death. This gift is free and we do not have to do anything to obtain it.
Acts 26:23 - “That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.” (See also Col 1:18 and Rev 1:5)
The resurrection comes to all, whether good or evil. There will however be a division between when we will be resurrected. The righteous will come forth in the first resurrection and the unrepentant sinners will come forth in the last resurrection.
I have heard some people question that the resurrection is a reuniting of the body and spirit. They propose that the body is changed into spirit or something like that. Luke 24:42-43 talks of Jesus eating fish and honeycomb after his resurrection. Luke 24:39 specifically says, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” Other places in the scriptures tell that the people touched him and these are listed in the Bible Dictionary.

-Exaltation – Another way The Savior gives us life is through exaltation or the bestowing upon us of Eternal Life. This gift requires our effort to obtain it.
Hebrews 5:9 - “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”
Note: It says to all them that obey Him and not the ones that simply say a prayer and ask Him to save them. Although praying to Him and asking His forgiveness when we sin is one of the things He has asked us to do, it is not the only thing. We must obey Him.

Mark 16:16 - “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
Note: Believing alone is not enough. One must also be baptized.

Matthew 6:14-15 - “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
We ourselves must do something, which is to forgive, in order to be forgiven or saved from our sins.

Revelation 22:14 - “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”

Matthew 19:16-17 - “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”
Sometimes people miss this, so I want to say it one more time. “if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”

Occasionally people present to me that I am not a Christian because I am a member of this church because we believe that we have to work to be saved. Ignoring the very clear scriptural evidence that keeping the commandments the way we give our heart to Jesus.

There is no question that we could give our all and still not have enough to gain salvation. That is where our faith in Christ comes in and He saves us. But without our effort that faith is dead and profits us nothing (See James 2:14-26).

I think Nephi explains what we are talking about the best in 2 Nephi 25:23 – “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

Be an Example – Another purpose of Jesus's life was to be an example. Jesus taught us by his example in several areas.
-He showed us How to Love - “As I have loved you, love one another.” When I was in the Missionary Training Center this was one of our favorite hymns, because if you chose to sing that for the closing song you got to lunch a lot quicker than if you chose to sing, say, A Poor Wayfaring Man Of Grief.

But setting aside me always thinking with my stomach, the Savior is a great example of love. “By this shall men know, ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” The savior showed us “love your neighbor”, “love your enemies”, and as previously mentioned “love one another”.

-Baptism – Jesus taught us of the necessity of baptism in John 3:4-5 - “Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

It could be interpreted by looking at this scripture that being born of water means being born of a woman based on the conversation he was having with Nicodemus. Yet, the example of Christ we see is that He sought out John who was baptizing with water.

-Prayer – One example He gave on praying was in the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 8 and Luke 11. The Lord's Prayer is not a prayer to be recited as many do. Wikipedia stated that, “On Easter Sunday 2007 it was estimated that 2 billion Protestant, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Christians read, recited, or sang the short prayer in hundreds of languages in houses of worship of all shapes and sizes.” I know the scholars out there are going to cringe at me siting Wikipedia as an authoritative source, but it looks like they got their information from the Los Angeles Times, which I am sure thoroughly researched and footnoted their article.

Nonetheless, He cautions us before showing us the example, about praying with vain repetitions. It is the Lord's prayer, not ours. So follow his example and then make your own.

-Truth by Example

The Members of the Godhead being Separate beings - One of the truths that he taught us by example was that He and His Father are two separate beings. His Father was at his baptism and He frequently prayed to his Father.
-Elder Jefferey R. Holland in his conference talk sited several examples of Jesus teaching this principle

I will paraphrase a few of these, but refer you to the footnotes in his conference talk for the entire list.

John 17:3 – Tells us that we may know the only true God AND Jesus who He has sent.

John 12:26 – States that if any man serves Christ, then His Father will honor them.

Romans 8:34 – Makes reference to Jesus being on the right hand of God.

Elder Holland states, "...we believe [The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost] are one in every significant and eternal aspect imaginable except believing Them to be three persons combined in one substance..."
He Teaches Us the Truth that We Can Be Like Christ – Christ showed us how to live a perfect life. He even gave us the command to, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” in Matthew 5:48. Some say perfect means complete and united and that it is not possible for us to be completely obedient. Yet Matthew 19:26 states, “When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Luke 1:37 declares, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” And Luke 18:27, “And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

-The Savior also Showed us examples of Forgiveness/Compassion – The Savior was mocked, spat upon, beaten, and crucified and yet in Luke 23:34 we read that He plead with the Father on their behalf, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

As He was betrayed He still had compassion and restored the ear of the servant of the high priest which Peter had smote off (See John 18:10).

-He Showed us Example of Obedience – Sensing the weight that was about to be placed upon him the Savior plead with His Father in Luke 22:42, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me”. He then shows us how to be obedient and accept that the Father can see more perfectly than we can by saying, “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

-He showed us how to Teach – The Savior was always teaching. He taught in parables using things that the people were already familiar with in order to teach truth.

My Testimony
I know that this is Christ's Church and that there is nowhere else that has all of the doctrine that completely works if we do it. This is the vehicle through which Christ is giving us the words of Eternal Life. I can't explain in words that make sense to everyone, but I when I ponder what I see everyday I know that Christ lives and that this is His Church?

I leave these thoughts and my testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Bishop's Talk
He made a point that I hadn't thought of before. He stated that sometimes the spirit withdraws from us through no fault of our own to test us. To make us stretch ourselves. Making decisions in the dark without the Holy Ghost telling us to can help us to reinforce good habits or make right choices out of reflex and not just when we are prompted.

Sunday School
The instructor introduced what we are going to be studying this next year. This year we studied the New Testament. Next year we will be studying The Book of Mormon.

3 Groups
Jaredites - Came to America at the time of the Towel of Babel. They had destroyed themselves through wars by about the time the other peoples arrived.
Lehites - Descendants of the tribe of Joseph. They left Jerusalem around 600BC.
Mulakites - The descendants of the last son of King Zedekiah, the final King of Judah. Possibly arrived in the Americas around 586 BC.

In order to seriously study one must do more than just come to Sunday school each week. We should study the scriptures during the week on our own and thus resist temptation, avoid deception, and stay on straight and narrow path

We talked about hungering for the scriptures. I had trouble envisioning myself hungering, but I think I have had moments of feasting. I would've more described it as getting on a roll. Where things are flowing and finding more things to take notes on. Maybe there is a difference between hungering and being hungry.

Joint Priesthood and Relief Society
The bishop gave us an update on the status of the ward. He gave some statistics. He talked about our progress on getting everyone in the ward to pray every day. He asked us to imagine the progress we could make as a ward if we could get all of the inactive members to pray every day. He then asked us to imagine if we could get the active members to pray every day.

He said, "It is my view that the seriousness with which one takes their HT/VT assignments is a strong indicator of the seriousness with which one is pursuing the pathway to the Celestial Kingdom."

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday December 23, 2007 - Sunday Services Cumberland Ward

Sunday School
Lesson 46 - He Will Dwell with Them, and They Shall Be His People
Revelation 5-6, 19-22
The first three chapters of the book of Revelation deal with John's time. The rest of the book deals with future events after John.

The events of these days can cause fear and despair. Fear can lead to inaction, being too scared to act. It can keep us from doing good. Even though these times are especially rough the Book of Revelation shows us that Satan has fought against the righteous in all time periods. In the end Satan will be bound and Christ will reign in peace.

Lion of David is Jesus.

Each seal that is opened represents a thousand year period in the history of Earth.

Many see the book of Revelation as fire and brimstone, but it is a book of great hope for those who are faithful.

Ensign November 1977 - Elder Bruce R. McConkie - The Ten Blessings of the Priesthood
"There are in this greater priesthood five offices or callings—elder, seventy, high priest, patriarch, and apostle—yet the priesthood is the same; and the priesthood is greater than any of its offices. We are a kingdom of brethren, a congregation of equals, all of whom are entitled to receive all of the blessings of the priesthood. There are no blessings reserved for apostles that are not freely available to all the elders of the kingdom; blessings come because of obedience and personal righteousness, not because of administrative positions. "

The Gospel is the Good News or the plan of salvation.

There is a difference between predestined and foreordained. Predestined means you have no choice. Foreordained means you have been chosen, but you have your choice to live up to your potential or not.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday December 16, 2007 - Church Snowed Out

The Stake President canceled church for the entire stake since they were calling for some bad weather between yesterday morning and this afternoon. We stayed home and studied here. We also had the kids go to their rooms for a while and come up with a one minute talk to share with the family.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sunday December 9, 2007 - Sunday Services Cumberland Ward

Sacrament Meeting
A missionary who just returned from his mission to Romania spoke to us. He talked a little about the history of the Church in Romania. With Joseph Smith's birthday coming up he also talked a little about him.

He commented that Josiah Quincy, the Mayor of Boston, commented on Joseph Smith's good character. I wasn't able to write fast enough to catch the reference.

Sunday School
Revelation 1–3; 12
Lesson 45 - “He That Overcometh Shall Inherit All Things”
God will eventually triumph over the Devil. Even if we don't understand all of the detail as we read, knowing that it keeps with this theme will help us somewhat.

The lesson manual says, "The three introductory chapters of the book record John’s testimony of the truthfulness of the revelation, John’s instructions from the Lord, and John’s counsel to the seven branches of the Church in Asia. Chapter 4 records John’s vision of heaven, and chapters 5 through 20 record his vision of the triumphant destiny of God’s kingdom. This vision shows the battles against Satan’s kingdom, the destruction of Satan’s kingdom, and the final scenes in the world’s history. After this is a vision of the new heavens and new earth—the world in its celestial state (Revelation 21:1-5). The book of Revelation concludes with the angel’s testimony and additional counsel from the Lord."

Candlesticks are branches of the Church. Angels of the seven churches are servants. In the midst of the candlesticks or branches was Christ. Stars are the leaders of the seven branches.

The word of the Lord are a two edged sword in that it convicts those that don't accept the gospel and also those that do accept it who do not obey.

I needed to go help out in Primary, so I missed the last little bit of the lesson and all of Elders' quorum meeting.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Sunday December 2, 2007 - Sunday Services Cumberland Ward

Testimony Meeting
The bishop asked us to imagine what it was like for Mary to hold Jesus for the first time, knowing that he was the Son of God.

Sunday School
Lesson 44 - God Is Love
God shows us His love by providing a way that we can become like him. Jesus shows His love by atoning for our sins. We show our love by being obedient.

Pray for those we love least. Don't counsel God on what to do with them, but pray that the Lord's will be done.

We are children of God, heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:16-17)

I only caught part of the lesson but it was about emergency preparedness and 72 hour kits.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Novemeber 25, 2007 - Sunday Services Cumberland Ward

Sacrament Meeting
First Speaker
-For the Strength of Youth p6. "In your prayers, before you ask for blessings, pour out your heart to God in thanks for the blessings you have already received." "Express appreciation to everyone who helps you in any way."
-True to the Faith p79
-Luke 17:11-19 -
11 ¶ And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were alepers, which stood afar off:
13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the apriests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him athanks: and he was a Samaritan.
17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten acleansed? but where are the bnine?
18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole
-DnC 78:19 - 19 And he who receiveth all things with athankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an bhundred fold, yea, more.

Second Speaker
Gratitude and Thanksgiving - Freedom of Religion
-4th verse of My Country Tis of Thee -
Our fathers' God, to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light.
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King!

-America is a choice land and will be free as long as those that posses it serve Christ.
-Jaredites came from Asia - Most of population destroyed after rejecting Christ.
-Lehi guided to America from Jerusalem - Great civilization destroyed and people became nomads after rejecting Christ.
-Columbus led here to discover the land.
-Pilgrims led to establish a religious population that understood the value of religious freedom.

3rd Speaker
-Natural Tendencies overcome by becoming as a child - Mosiah 3:19 -
19 For the anatural bman is an cenemy to God, and has been from the dfall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he eyields to the enticings of the Holy fSpirit, and gputteth off the hnatural man and becometh a isaint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a jchild, ksubmissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

-He spoke of gratitude as it relates to charity and that as gratitude increase, so does charity.

Sunday School
Lesson 43
1 Peter 1:19-20 - Jesus was ordained to his mission before the world was created.

1 Peter 1:7 - States that faith is more precious than gold. If we are asked if our faith is more precious to us than gold we would say that it is. If that is true then why do we sell out for so much less. We compromise or betray our faith by conversations we have, things that we watch, things that we listen to, the way that we treat others, and our lack of commitment to serve.

Elders' Quorum Meeting
We discussed President Monson's talk from the priesthood session of general conference.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sunday November 18, 2007 - Sunday Services Cumberland Ward

Sacrament Meeting
First Speaker
Young woman spoke about going to the temple. She just went with some of the other youth to the temple. She also talked a little about going to the baptism yesterday of a new member, who was confirmed today.

Second Speaker
"my house is a house of order" (DnC)

A dispensation is brought about so current people don't have to rely entirely on previous dispensations for guidence. Dispensations also have a specific purposes. Adam brought forth mankind. Jesus brought the atonement. List all dispensations.

"I can do all things" (Get reference and put on web site under perfection. Also "with god is anything impossible?").

This is the first dispensation where every member of the family could have their own set of scriptures.

Third Speaker
Emergency Preparedness
Why do we need to be prepared? Tornados, blizzards, power outages, earth quakes, and civil unrest or terrorist attack.

Mosiah 4:14 - We need to be prepared to provide for our family and also others who might be in need.

DnC 25:28 - Provide for own family.

We should be self reliant in six areas - from church handbook of instructions. Education, health, food storage, employment

1 tim 5:8 - if you provide not for your own...

Ether 12

Sunday School
lesson 42
Many times we feel that we have been cast out rather than that we are children of Heavenly Father and have been sent on a mission to learn how to be like Him and return to Him.

Don't be in such a rush to finish our prayers that we leave before giving God the chance to respond or say things that he needed to say.

James 1:1-4 and Orson F. Witney (quoted in Faith Precedes the Miracle, 98) talked of how our trials and our temptations can make us more charitable and patient.

James 1:19 talks about being swift to hear and slow to speak. How different is that than in our time of quick wits and sharp tongues? If we are slow to speak we may be able to avoid escalating tense situations.

We should bridal our tongues. We should be slow to wrath and also not gossip. If someone did something wrong, does that mean that we need to talk about it?

James 1:22 also talks about doing good and not just hearing the Word and doing nothing.

Elders' Quorum Meeting
Spenser W Kimball manual Chapter 22 - Revelation: A Continuous Melody and a Thunderous Appeal
'Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.' (Amos 3:7.)

"There are those who would assume that with the printing and binding of these sacred records, that would be the 'end of the prophets.' But again we testify to the world that revelation continues and that the vaults and files of the Church contain these revelations which come month to month and day to day. We testify also that there is, since 1830 when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, and will continue to be, so long as time shall last, a prophet, recognized of God and his people, who will continue to interpret the mind and will of the Lord. "

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday November 11, 2007 - Sunday Services Cumberland Ward

Sacrament meeting
A young man that just returned from a mission to Florida and Alabama spoke. He talked about approaching missionary work like a doctor. When a doctor works with a patient they ask them where it hurts. Missionary work is also about listening to people and finding out what they need.

A stake high councilman spoke to us.

He stated that there is a difference between participation and commitment. This applies to membership in the church and to marriage.

Sunday School
1 and 2 Timothy and Titus
Lesson 41
We need to recommit our lives all the time. We can not just say that we believe one time and get complacent. I think this what repentance is about. It is our chance to recommit. The sacrament goes along with that as well. Partaking of the sacrament every week helps us to remember our covenants and recommit or increase our commitment. As new people are called in the church and we raise our hand to sustain them we get the chance to recommit. As we go to the temple we get the chance to think about our covenants and recommit.

Even if we are committed if we are not progressing we are not moving closer to God.

Paul taught Timothy to be an example to others by word, conversation and conduct, charity, spirit, faith, and purity.

The love of money is evil as Paul said, not money itself. The lesson manual pointed out that "Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught: “There is nothing inherently evil about money. The Good Samaritan used the same coinage to serve his fellowman that Judas used to betray the Master.""

Spencer W Kimball manual Ch 21
What did Joseph Smith know after the first vision that he didn't know before?
-God and Jesus had bodies.
-They were two different beings.
-None of the churches on the Earth were God's church.

We should be a tool in God's hand. Let's not be too locked into what type of tool we are that we fail to perform when asked to do other tasks. One brother noted that a diaginal wirecutter is not a nail puller, but it works very well in that capacity.

Many made accusations against Stephen and later he was stoned. Joseph also had many accusation and then a mob killed him as well.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sunday November 4, 2007 - Sunday Services Cumberland Ward

Sunday School
Lesson 40
In Philippians 2:2-3 Paul counseled the Philippians to be of one mind and not do anything through strife or vainglory.

One Minded
The Church does not tell us who to vote for, but generally people in the church generally vote a similar way. Also, the curriculum is the same no matter which congregation one would attend throughout the Church.

Service Without Strife or Vainglory
We must be careful of our motives and where our heart is at as we serve.

We should avoid vain ambitions.
13th article of faith - We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Work life/spiritual life balance
The instructor broke down the hours in a week to illustrate how we have to manage our time.
168 hours in a week less 24 for Sunday less 44 for sleep less 50 for work less 6 hour commute less 12 hours family time. That leaves 52. I left to listen to my daughter's talk in primary, so I didn't get to find out where the instructor was going. That gets you started, but you will have to use your imagination a little.

What happened with you this week at church?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday October 28, 2007 - Sunday Services Cumberland Ward

Sacrament Meeting
The Primary did a program of singing and children giving brief presentations.

Before the Primary program started a stake high councilman said he had a letter to read. He said that the letter was a couple of pages long. I hadn't heard any rumors about anything and it didn't make sense to change our bishopric again so soon, so I didn't think much of it. As he read he said that a new stake was being created. He said that stake would be the Indianapolis West Stake and included in that would be the ward where our old house is. The new stake will be created on November 11. It is pretty exciting to have this sign of growth finally manifesting itself. One step closer to getting a temple in Indiana.

Sunday School
Lesson 39
Dispensation - Time block. A time when the Lord has at least one servant on Earth authorized to administer the Gospel.

Dispensation of Fullness of times - Began with the restoration of the Gospel. All of the keys of the gospel are present on the Earth at once.

This is a dispensation of gathering. Gathering members of the Church. Gathering our ancestors. Gathering families through sealing in the temple.

"One Lord One Faith One baptism." It is all about unity and there appears to be a lot of disunity between the various Christian churches that some would consider to all be Christ's Church as a whole.

Ephesians 4:11-14 - He gives us apostles and prophets that we may come to unity. That we may come to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. That we may not be "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine..."

"husbands love your wives." (Eph. 5: 25, Col. 3: 19) When the husband loves his wife and is following Christ it works. Many of the movements to get "independence" from men are started where the husbands have ceased to follow Christ and the women don't feel any unity with those men.

Elders' Quorum Meeting
The bishop taught our lesson.
If you have faith in the savior you will be moved to action.
He talked about our poor performance with regard to home teaching. The home teaching program is the only way the bishop can keep track of how the ward is doing, since he can't visit everyone himself.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sunday October 21, 2007 - Sunday Services Cumberland Ward

Sacrament meeting
One of the young women talked about some of her experiences in working in her young woman personal progress book.

2nd speaker
In the NT church they had leaders over territories and such. Moses also divided the church into manageable groups.

Apostasy not about outside influences, from those within becoming more selfish.

Some were focused on who baptized them rather than the authority. Some were haughty about having been baptized by Paul even though the other church leaders had the same authority.

The apostasy occurred not because the apostles were gone. The apostles were gone because the apostasy occurred.

3rd speaker
Spoke on reverence, prayer, scripture reading, pondering, service.

Forgive them for they know not what they do. Think of that when others transgress against us. Do they really understand what they are doing.

Sunday School
Paul missionary journeys
After three missionary journey's he returned to Jerusalem. The first thing he did when arriving was report to the Church leadership of how his mission was. Much like missionaries do today when their mission is complete.

Paul called out by Jewish Christians in the temple for teaching that salvation came through Christ rather than the Law of Moses. Many people raised the Law of Moses above whatever new God might given them. Worshiping the law more than God.

The Women of the Church - Spencer W Kimball manual chapter 20
The manual shared one of President Kimball's stories about his mother. Part of it went like this, "She was serving as first counselor in our Relief Society in Thatcher, Arizona, and the presidency went to a sister's home where a sick baby had prevented the mother from doing her sewing. Mother took her machine, a picnic lunch, her baby, and a high chair, and they began work. She wrote that night, we 'made four aprons, four pairs of pants and started a shirt for one of the boys.' They had to stop at 4 P.M. to go to a funeral, so we 'did not get any more than that done.' I would have been impressed by such achievement, rather than thinking, 'Well, that's not much.'"

The manual also stated, "Having been given different responsibilities, women and men are to work together in a partnership of equality and respect."

The lesson talked about that because of our differences and different responsibilities sometimes men and women mistreat each other. We need to keep in mind that each of our roles are important and necessary.

"God has called women to help enrich, protect, and guard the home and family." Many ideas of our society get in the way of women fulfilling this calling. We should assess if our families goals and behaviors are in line with achieving this calling or if our lifestyle is hindering it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sunday October 14, 2007 - Sunday Services Cumberland Ward

Sunday School
Hebrews - Lesson 37
Ordinance in the tabernacle:
-What it symbolized:

a. The priests offered animals as sacrifices to God (Hebrews 10:1-4, Hebrews 10:11).
-Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 9:26-28; Hebrews 10:4-12).

b. The priests placed blood from the sacrificed animals on the altar to symbolize the cleansing and purification of the people (Hebrews 9:6-7, Hebrews 9:19-23).
-Jesus’ blood, shed during the Atonement, cleanses and purifies us from sin (Hebrews 9:11-15).

c. The high priest went through the veil into the Holy of Holies (Hebrews 9:1-7).
-Jesus, the great high priest, went through the veil into the heaven itself (Hebrews 9:24).

The people were tied to the law of Moses and were missing that it was a preparatory law to prepare them for Christ.

Christ was a priest after the order of Melchizadec (Hebrews 5:5-6). This chapter compares the order of Aaron to the order of Melchizadec and the law of Moses to the higher law Christ was bringing. He used the term milk to refer to the former and strong meat to refer to the latter.

Elders' Quorum Meeting
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball Lesson 19 - Strengthening Our Families
The family is central to our Father's plan and is the foundation of society. "The family is the basic unit of the kingdom of God on earth. The Church can be no healthier than its families." (In Conference Report, Apr. 1978, 67; or Ensign, May 1978, 45)

Parents need to build reservoirs of spiritual strength to sustain their children through life's experiences.

There are reservoirs of water that people draw from when they need water. Joseph of Egypt made a reservoir of food for when the famine came. Our children need to have a spiritual reservoir that they came pull from when the world presses in upon them. We are need that. Parents should not rely on others to give our children the things they need to fill their reservoir. Nor should we entirely rely on others to fill our reservoirs either.

Leaders have responsibility in training children, but not the primary responsibility.

Our homes need to be a sanctuary where our children and their friends can come and feel the spirit and feel that it is different and more satisfying than the world.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sunday October 7, 2007 - Afternoon Session of General Conference

Sunday Morning Session of the 177th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Elder Robert D. Hales - Apostle
Personal Revelation: The Teachings and Examples of the Prophets (Text, Audio, Video)

My thought: Do we understand what it means to get revelation? For one to be a prophet do they have to have grand visions to have had a revelation? Perhaps they do at times, but I think most times it is by the still small voice just like for the rest of us.

Elder Hales related how a reporter aggressively questioned President Harold B. Lee about when he had last received revelation. he responded that it was the previous day at 3pm when they received an answer as to who the new stake president should be. My thought:The only difference is the stewardship. The general membership will not receive promptings on who should be called as stake president other than a confirmation when the decision has been made by those that have stewardship.

Elder Richard G. Scott - Apostle
Truth: The Foundation of Correct Decisions (Text, Audio, Video)
"A knowledge of truth is of little value unless we apply it in making correct decisions."

Two ways to find truth.
  1. Scientific - Two limitations
    1. Can never know if we have found absolute truth.
    2. Sometimes we can get the wrong answer.
  2. Revelation - Goes to the source of truth.
    1. Need faith.
    2. Need a willingness to keep God's commandments.
Daniel K. Judd - First Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency Nourished by the Good Word of God (Text, Audio, Video)
It is possible to feed a horse without nourishing him.

What do we learn in our classes that is not being said?

Elder Octavio Tenorio - Seventy
The Power of Godliness Is Manifested in the Temples of God (Text, Audio, Video)
He spoke of making and keeping covenants. He also talked of the trial to get his father active and finally being sealed to his parents. He also talked about the comfort he received having the Gospel when his child died at birth.

Elder Claudio D. Zivic- Seventy
After All We Can Do (Text, Audio, Video)
His talk can be summed up by this quote from him, "We, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ, have chosen not to be ordinary men and women." and these two quotes from Nephi, "For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do" (2 Nephi 25:23) " "Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself" (2 Nephi 2:27).

Elder Douglas L. Callister - Seventy
Knowing That We Know (Text, Audio, Video)
His talk was about finding our own way and finding answers for ourselves. In the end we can not borrow from others. We must have a testimony of Christ and His work ourselves.

Elder Steven E. Snow - In the Presidency of the Seventy
Service (Text, Audio, Video)
He quoted the Savior, "And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

He quoted President Hickley, “No man can be a true Latter-day Saint who is unneighborly, who does not reach out to assist and help others. It is inherent in the very nature of the gospel that we do so. My brothers and sisters, we cannot live unto ourselves.”

Service is to be given unselfishly and ungrudgingly.

We are to accept callings to keep our congregations and so forth going. our congregations need Sunday school teachers, librarians, scout leaders, and so forth to keep them going as well as bishops, elders quorum presidents, and relief society presidents.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks - Apostle
Good, Better, Best (Text, Audio, Video)
I always enjoy talks by Elder Oaks. This one was really good. It was on time management.

He talked of there being good things, but those good things can drain our time from better and best things.

He gave the example of Mary and Martha from the New Testament. Martha was taking care of the home and the guest, which were good things, but was missing out on time with the Savior and his teachings, which were better things (Luke 10:40).

He also sites Alma 32:14–15 where some people are being counseled that it was good for them to repent because they were compelled, but it is better for one to humble himself rather than compelled to be humble.

President Gordon B. Hinckley
Closing Remarks (Text, Audio, Video)
He just closed the meeting and told everyone to be safe.

Sunday October 7, 2007 - Morning Session of General Conference

Sunday Morning Session of the 177th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

President Eyring - First Counselor in the First Presidency
O Remember, Remember (Text, Audio, Video)
He started off hos talk saying a few words about President Faust. He said, "I always felt that when I grew up, I wanted to be like President Faust. There may still be time."

He talked of how he had started, when his children were young, to stop at the end of each day and ponder on where he had seen the hand of God blessing his family. He would then jot down a few lines. He ended up giving a copy of that journal to his children. "...find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness."

He quoted a line from the hymn Count Your Blessing “Count your many blessings; name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

He also quoted Helaman 12:1-2,5 -
1 And thus we can behold how false, and also the unsteadiness of the hearts of the children of men; yea, we can see that the Lord in his great infinite goodness doth bless and aprosper those who put their btrust in him.
2 Yea, and we may see at the very atime when he doth bprosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of cprecious things of every kind and art; sparing their lives, and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yea, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do dharden their hearts, and do eforget the Lord their God, and do ftrample under their feet the Holy One—yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity.
5 Yea, how quick to be lifted up in apride; yea, how quick to bboast, and do all manner of that which is iniquity; and how slow are they to remember the Lord their God, and to give ear unto his counsels, yea, how slow to cwalk in wisdom’s paths!

Elder Quentin L. Cook - Apostle
Live by Faith and Not by Fear (Text, Audio, Video)
He shared some thoughts about being called as an apostle and how inadequate he felt. He said that when he had been called as a general authority in 1996. Elder Neal A. Maxwell told him "the most important qualification for all of us serving in the kingdom is to be comfortable in bearing witness of the divinity of the Savior."

Claudio R.M. Costa - Member of the Presidency of the Seventy
Don't Leave for Tomorrow What You Can Do Today(Text, Audio, Video)
He quoted from The Family: A Proclamation to the World - "Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children." He gave a list of 3 things we can do to protect and strengthen our families that President Faust listed in a talk he gave at a Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting in January of 2004.
  1. Family prayer. Parents must teach their children that they are God's children and therefore need to pray to Him daily.
  2. Family home evening. As President Faust taught us, family home evening is for all of us no matter what stage of life we are in. We must have Monday nights free of all other activities that might keep us from gathering as a family.
  3. Personal and family scripture study. We need to help our children strengthen their faith and testimony through this basic habit
The Proclamation states that fathers "are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children."

Julie B. Beck - Relief Society General President
Mothers Who Know (
Text, Audio, Video)
She spoke about mothers who know who they are.
Here are the topic points of her talk:
There is eternal influence and power in motherhood.
Mothers Who Know Bear Children.
Mothers Who Know Honor Sacred Ordinances and Covenants.
Mothers Who Know Are Nurturers.
Mothers Who Know Are Leaders.
Mothers Who Know Are Teachers.
Mothers Who Know Do Less.
Mothers Who Know Stand Strong and Immovable.

Elder Christoffel Golden Jr. - Seventy
Small and Simple Things (Text, Audio, Video)

His talk focused on the power we can receive from obedience to the things the Lord has asked us to like prayer, scripture study, and attending church. As we obey these things our strength and obedience increases and so on and so on as we progress.

David A. Bednar - Apostle
Clean Hand and a Pure Heart(
Text, Audio, Video)
"Our spiritual purpose is to overcome both sin and the desire to sin, both the taint and the tyranny of sin."

He talked of the Savior's visit to America after he was resurrected. There the Savior taught the same basic principles that he taught the people at Jerusalem.

Elder Bednar talked of baptism and of striving to live that the Holy Ghost can always be with us. "

Prophets throughout the ages have emphasized the dual requirements of (1) avoiding and overcoming bad and (2) doing good and becoming better. Consider the penetrating questions posed by the Psalmist:

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?

“He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully” (Psalm 24:3–4)."

He talked of how some feel that the goal of obeying all of God's commandments is not possible in this life. He testified "that the Savior will strengthen and assist us to make sustained, paced progress."

President Gordon B. Hinckley - Prophet
The Stone Cut Out of the Mountain(Text, Audio, Video)
He spoke of the remarkable growth of the Church.

He was the second person to talk about the Nicean Creed and subsequent creeds and the errors that they have lead to in Christianity. Many of the doctrines contained within are not supported by the Bible.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Saturday October 6, 2007 - Afternoon Session of General Conference

Saturday Afternoon Session of the 177th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

M. Russell Ballard - Apostle
Faith, Family, Facts, and Fruits (Text, Audio, Video)

He spoke of the increased attention the Church has been receiving due to its "rapid growth, by events like the Winter Olympics here in Salt Lake City, and by the prominence in their chosen professions of many of our individual members."

We as members are so proud of what we have and want everyone we know to have it. "Even questions on one specific aspect can be difficult to answer because every question seems to be connected to other questions." When someone says, "Tell me a little about your church." They mean little not, “Tell me everything you know and then send others to tell me everything else.”

He gave several simple statements that could be shared on the topics of Facts, Faith, Family, and Fruits.

An example of a fact is:
Mormon is a nickname. Saint means member.

An example of faith is:
"And we believe in the Book of Mormon and other books of scripture which support and authenticate the Bible and testify of the ministry and divinity of Christ and of God’s ongoing revelation to man. Indeed, the Book of Mormon is “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.” "

An example of family is:
"Latter-day Saint families are encouraged to hold family home evenings weekly, usually on Monday nights. This provides a regular and predictable time for parents to teach values to their children and to have fun together. We invite those not of our faith to adopt this practice with their own families. "

An example of fruits is:
"...those who are married in and attend the temple regularly have a divorce rate far below the national and world average."
Joseph B. Wirthlin - Apostle The Great Commandment (Text, Audio, Video)
Elder Wirthlin began to shack a bit during his talk. The shaking increased as he spoke, but he finished his remarks. Elder Nelson got up and stood with him for most of the talk to make sure he was ok.

He spoke of the discord that was happening in the Church in the first century. He quoted Paul, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not acharity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. " (1 Corinthians 13:1)

"The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of transformation. It takes us as men and women of the earth and refines us into men and women for the eternities.

"The means of this refinement is our Christlike love. There is no pain it cannot soften, no bitterness it cannot remove, no hatred it cannot alter."

"Brethren and sisters, as you prayerfully consider what you can do to increase harmony, spirituality, and build up the kingdom of God, consider your sacred duty to teach others to love the Lord and their fellowman."
Bruce D. Porter - Seventy A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit (Text, Audio, Video)
Broken heart and a contrite spirit is what is necessary as an offering to God.

What does a broken heart mean? It means to do the will of God and not your own. That your heart is dedicated to God. In that state our heart is totally open to hear and listen to God. A broken heart can be molded by God.

What does a contrite spirit mean? It means that we are humble and teachable.

Eric W. Kopischke - Seventy Preach My Gospel—the Unifying Tool between Members and Missionaries (Text, Audio, Video)
He talked of the manual "Preach My Gospel" that the missionaries use to teach the Gospel. He said that if we wanted to be able to help the missionaries we should be familiar with how they teach. He also stated that we could use it to learn how to teach our own families the principles that the missionaries teach people new to the Church.

Michael J. Teh - Seventy Out of Small Things (Text, Audio, Video)
Am I my brother's keeper. Alma said, “And now, . . . ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.”(Mosiah 18:8–9)

Service should be regardless of race, standing, and relationships.

He quoted one of the Hymns,

Has anyone’s burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love. (
Have I Done Any Good?Hymns, no. 223)

Keith K. Hilbig - Seventy
Quench Not the Spirit Which Quickens the Inner Man (Text, Audio, Video)
He quoted 1 Thes 5:19 - "Quench not the Spirit." He spoke of living in such a way that the spirit can always be there to guide us. He said, "...we too must be careful not to hinder, disregard, or quench the Spirit in our lives."

As I looked up verse 19 I noticed verse 20 that says "Despise not prophesyings." It seems as though these days people are immediately skeptical of anything you say came from a prophet.

To say that the Holy Ghost quickens us means "enlightens and enlivens" what is inside of us.

He list a few things we can measure how much effort we are putting into keeping the spirit with us or how much effort we are putting into quenching it.
  1. Do I spend more time with sports than Church attendance or callings?
  2. If I have a free day, do I choose to attend the temple or to visit the mall?
  3. Do I resort to computer games or surfing the Internet rather than offering meaningful service to others in my home and community?
  4. Do I read the newspaper religiously but find it difficult to read the scriptures daily?
Elder Jeffery R. Holland - Apostle The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent (Text, Audio, Video)
He opened by stating how we are often concerned that others see us as Christians. I still sometimes wonder if Christian really mean follower of Christ today or if it is just a title meaning protestantism with the foundation of creeds and such that Elder Holland touches on in his talk.

He discusses two main things that generally have people calling us non-Christian. "...our view of the Godhead and our belief in the principle of continuing revelation leading to an open scriptural canon."

He quoted the first Article of Faith, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” (Articles of Faith 1:1)

He had some good things to say about God The Father, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost being one in "every significant and eternal aspect imaginable except believing Them to be three persons combined in one substance,". He sighted lots of scriptures that show them as separeate beings.

Elder Russle M. Nelson - Apostle
Scriptural Witness (Text, Audio, Video)
He talked on people disregarding scripture. People do this with modern day scripture, but I have also seen people doing it to the Old Testament as well. Some read it, but mostly ignore what is in it for more than just inspirational stories, since they feel that it is mostly irrelevant to us because Christ did away with it all.

He sited verses 6-8 of 2 Nephi 29, but I think the entire chapter is so powerful that I quote it all here.

Many gentiles shall reject the Book of Mormon—They shall say: We need no more Bible—The Lord speaks to many nations—He will judge the world out of the books thus written. Between 559 and 545 B.C.
1 But behold, there shall be many—at that day when I shall proceed to do a amarvelous work among them, that I may remember my bcovenants which I have made unto the children of men, that I may set my hand again the csecond time to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel;
2 And also, that I may remember the promises which I have made unto thee, Nephi, and also unto thy father, that I would remember your seed; and that the awords of your seed should proceed forth out of my mouth unto your seed; and my words shall bhiss forth unto the cends of the earth, for a dstandard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel;
3 And because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A aBible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.
4 But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a aBible; and it shall proceed forth from the bJews, mine ancient covenant people. And what cthank they the dJews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?
5 O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have acursed them, and have bhated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.
6 Thou fool, that shall say: A aBible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?
7 Know ye not that there are more anations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the bisles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the cearth beneath; and I bring forth my dword unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?
8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the atestimony of btwo nations is a cwitness unto you that I am God, that I remember one dnation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two enations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.
9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the asame yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my bwords according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one cword ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my dwork is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.
10 Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my awords; neither bneed ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.
11 For I command aall men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall bwrite the words which I speak unto them; for out of the cbooks which shall be written I will djudge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.
12 For behold, I shall speak unto the aJews and they shall bwrite it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall cwrite it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto dall nations of the earth and they shall write it.
13 And it shall come to pass that the aJews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the blost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.
14 And it shall come to pass that my people, which are of the ahouse of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the blands of their possessions; and my word also shall be gathered in cone. And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my dpeople, who are of the ehouse of Israel, that I am God, and that I fcovenanted with gAbraham that I would remember his hseed iforever.

He also quoted from Ezekiel 37:16–17 which talks about the record of Judah (the Bible) and the record of Joseph (The Book of Mormon).
16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one astick, and bwrite upon it, For cJudah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and dwrite upon it, For eJoseph, the fstick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become aone in thine hand.

Saturday October 6, 2007 - Morning Session of General Conference

Saturday Morning Session of the 177th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
President Hinckley presented the names of General Church officers for sustaining (Text, Audio, Video). Included in that was calling a new councilor to the prophet, who would replace President James E. Faust who died recently.

Elder Henry B. Eyring was sustained as second councilor in the First Presidency.

Elder Quentin L. Cook was called to fill the vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles left by Elder Eyring being called into the First Presidency.

Boyd K Packer - Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Weak and the Simple of the Church (Text, Audio, Video)
He talked about the practice of sustaining leaders. "We always know who is to called to lead or teach..." "In this way, the Church is protected from any impostor..."

He also spoke of our responsibility to accept callings. "Each member is responsible to accept the call to serve. " We all need to do our part. "The Church has no professional clergy. The call to leadership positions worldwide is drawn from the congregation. We have no seminaries for the training of professional leaders. "

He talked of how we do not have the problem of struggling to find clergymen. We can go into an area where there are members and set up a congregation with leadership being called from those local members.

He talked of how every calling in the Church is important. Every down to the level of nursey leaders and Sunday school teachers. Those teachers are giving those children a love for attending church and reenforcing the teachings they are receiving at home. For some they may be the only exposure gospel living that they get throughout the week.

He quoted a couple of scriptures service and humility. “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:27). “The same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all” (D&C 50:26). He talked about the relationship between children in a family. Is one of more worth than another?

Bishop Richard C. Edgley -First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric
Enduring Together (Text, Audio, Video)
He started out talking about a newspaper article that talked about how Utah Mormons know everything about every other Mormon in town. The reporter said that it "...can be intrusive", but "It also happens to be one of our greatest strengths.” The reporter related a story about a car accident. Before the police and ambulance showed up the entire ward knew. “In 48 hours, the Quigley yard was mowed, home cleaned, laundry done, refrigerator stocked, relatives fed and a trust fund set up at a local bank. We would have given their dog a bath if they had one.”

Bishop Edgley quoted, “As ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort,” (Mosiah 18:8–9)

He sited a few examples of tragedies that happened in his own ward. He said that his ward has learned five things through it all.

  1. The Lord’s organization is fully adequate to know and care for those with even the most dire emotional and spiritual needs.

  2. Adversity can bring us closer to God, with a renewed and enlightened appreciation for prayer and the Atonement, which covers pain and suffering in all their manifestations.

  3. Members who suffer tragedy firsthand often experience an increased capacity for love, compassion, and understanding. They become the first, last, and often the most effective responders in giving comfort and showing compassion to others.

  4. A ward, as well as a family, draws closer together as it endures together—what happens to one happens to all.

  5. And perhaps most important, we can each be more compassionate and caring because we have each had our own personal trials and experiences to draw from. We can endure together.
I think I missed this when I listened to it the first time and when I read it. As I was listening to it again on the way into work this morning I noticed that he said, "what happens to one happens to all" at least three times. I have often noticed the opposite of what he expressed in his talk. Some of ideas that seem to get in the way of ward unity are:
  1. They are capable of doing that themselves.
  2. They brought this on themselves.
  3. Nobody did x for me when y happened to me.
  4. If they need help all they have to do is call me.
Mary N. Cook - Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency
Strengthen Home and Family (Text, Audio, Video)
She quoted from the For the Strength on Youth pamphlet, “being part of a family is a great blessing. . . . Not all families are the same, but each is important in Heavenly Father’s plan”

She quoted President Hinckley from the talk he gave at the General Young Women meeting last spring. “(1) pray, (2) study, (3) pay your tithing, and (4) attend your meetings” (“Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts Unceasingly,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2007, 115).

Sister Cook said to ask ourselves, “Who in my family could benefit from my personal prayers?”

She talked of how President Hinckley in the same talk mentioned above counciled to “get all of the education you can”

She quoted 1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” and also referenced the Family section in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet.

She closed by quoting from the talk by Elder Robert D. Hales, “How Will Our Children Remember Us?” and “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Elder Hales said, “If the example we have received from our parents was not good, it is our responsibility to break the cycle. . . "

Elder Enrique R. Falabella - Seventy
Why Are We Members of the Only True Church? (Text, Audio, Video)

He spoke of growing up poor and how his father taught him "that happiness does not depend on money."

After receiving the gospel his father set a goal to get his family to the temple. The temple was a 15-day trip with highways in poor condition, uncomfortable buses, not even knowing the route..."

His mother had passed away when he was very young and after they were all sealed to her in the temple they were glad to be an eternal family and not just till death do they part.

He stated that "The Church of Jesus Christ is a church of priests, 'a royal priesthood, an holy nation' (1 Peter 2:9)."

He related a story about him and his son. "When my son Daniel was six years old, he saw that I was worried because I had to attend a stake conference. I was unsure about what to teach the Saints. He came up to me and said, “Daddy, that’s really easy.” That’s how children see everything.

“Let’s see, Son,” I told him. “Since it’s easy, tell me what I can talk to them about.”

“Talk to them about prayer,” he told me.

“That’s a good subject,” I told him, “but they’ve heard a lot of talk about prayer; what could I tell them that’s new?”

“That’s easy too, Daddy. First tell them, ‘Before you start to talk to Heavenly Father, think about the things you want to tell Him.’ “

“That sounds like a magnificent idea,” I replied. “And then?”

“Well, once you’ve thought of it, tell it to Him! When you finish, wait and see if He has something to tell you.”"

Elder Spencer J. Condie - Seventy
Claim the Exceeding Great and Precious Promises (Text, Audio, Video)
"The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." (Article of Faith 4)

He touched on that this is faith that he atoned for our sins (Isaiah 1:18) and that by His
Resurrection we too will be resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:21–23).

"In these latter days, the Lord revealed that “when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (D&C 130:21). The Lord makes generous promises, and He certifies that He will not vary from these promises, for, said He, “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise” (D&C 82:10)." He gave some examples of this principle.

Confess and forsake sins
D&C 58:43
Pay tithing
Opening the windows of Heaven
Malachi 3:10
Word of Wisdom
Great treasures of knowledge
D&C 89:19
Keep the Sabbath holyBecome unspotted from the world
D&C 59:9; Exodus 31:13
Feast upon the words of Christ
Divine guidance and inspiration2 Nephi 32:3
liken all scriptures unto ourselves
Divine guidance and inspiration1 Nephi 19:23
whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you3 Nephi 18:20
Let virtue garnish your thoughts unceasinglyHoly Ghost will be our constant companion.1 Nephi 19:23
Fast“loose the bands of wickedness,” undo our “heavy burdens,” and “break every yoke”Isaiah 58:6
Be sealed in the temple and keep your covenants.

“shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever”

D&C 132:19

Elder Dieter F. Ukdorf - Apostle
Have We Not Reason to Rejoice(Text, Audio, Video)
He quoted from one of the hymns we sang this morning:
Now let us rejoice in the day of salvation.
No longer as strangers on earth need we roam.
Good tidings are sounding to us and each nation.
(“Now Let Us Rejoice,Hymns, no. 3)

His family joined the Church while living in war torn Germany. He related a story about the war front moving toward their town and his mother and his siblings evacuating. During that time his family learned about the Church. Even in our times of trial, “My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

He expounded on the fourth article of faith. "We believe that the first principles and aordinances of the Gospel are: first, bFaith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, cRepentance; third, dBaptism by eimmersion for the fremission of sins; fourth, Laying on of ghands for the hgift of the Holy Ghost."(Articles of Faith 1:4)

Once we have received truth we are to endure to the end. Enduring is not hanging in there. It is an active process.

He closed saying Jesus wants us to succeed. He has given us a lot of requirements, but he has made a plan that is entirely within our ability to attain for us if we follow him.

President Thomas S. Monson - 1st Counseler in the The First Presidency
Mrs. Patton—the Story Continues (Text, Audio, Video)
He talked about death and how sad it can be for people and the hope that we have for what is after we die.