Sunday, October 28, 2007
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.
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
One of the young women talked about some of her experiences in working in her young woman personal progress book.
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.
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.
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
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
Personal Revelation: The Teachings and Examples of the Prophets (Text, Audio, Video)
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.
Two ways to find truth.
- Scientific - Two limitations
- Can never know if we have found absolute truth.
- Sometimes we can get the wrong answer.
- Revelation - Goes to the source of truth.
- Need faith.
- Need a willingness to keep God's commandments.
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.
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
President Gordon B. Hinckley
Closing Remarks (Text, Audio, Video)
He just closed the meeting and told everyone to be safe.
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 -
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!
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."
Don't Leave for Tomorrow What You Can Do Today(Text, Audio, Video)
- Family prayer. Parents must teach their children that they are God's children and therefore need to pray to Him daily.
- 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.
- Personal and family scripture study. We need to help our children strengthen their faith and testimony through this basic habit
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.
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."
The Stone Cut Out of the Mountain(Text, Audio, Video)
He spoke of the remarkable growth of the Church.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
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:
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."
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."
“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.”(Mosiah 18:8–9)
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)
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.
- Do I spend more time with sports than Church attendance or callings?
- If I have a free day, do I choose to attend the temple or to visit the mall?
- Do I resort to computer games or surfing the Internet rather than offering meaningful service to others in my home and community?
- Do I read the newspaper religiously but find it difficult to read the scriptures daily?
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.
He sited verses 6-8 of 2 Nephi 29, but I think the entire chapter is so powerful that I quote it all here.
He also quoted from Ezekiel 37:16–17
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.
- The Lord’s organization is fully adequate to know and care for those with even the most dire emotional and spiritual needs.
- 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.
- 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.
- A ward, as well as a family, draws closer together as it endures together—what happens to one happens to all.
- 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.
- They are capable of doing that themselves.
- They brought this on themselves.
- Nobody did x for me when y happened to me.
- If they need help all they have to do is call me.
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||Forgiveness||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 holy||Become unspotted from the world||D&C 59:9; Exodus 31:13|
|Feast upon the words of Christ||Divine guidance and inspiration||2 Nephi 32:3|
|liken all scriptures unto ourselves||Divine guidance and inspiration||1 Nephi 19:23|
|Pray||whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you||3 Nephi 18:20|
|Let virtue garnish your thoughts unceasingly||Holy 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”
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.
L. Tom Perry - Apostle
Raising the Bar (Text, Video)
He talked about how when his son was in high school he was a high jumper. He said that his son was practicing high jumping against the minimum height to qualify. He suggested to his son that he raise it higher. His son said that he might miss. He told his son that if he just did the minimum he would never know what he was capable of.
He talked about potential missionaries should extend themselves above the minimum standards required to serve a mission. He counseled to study before going on a mission and to have a clean appearance even before you go on your mission.
Donald L. Hallstrom - Seventy
Do It Now (Text, Video)
He talked of the mentallity that many of us slip into with zoning out when we read or when lessons are giving because it feels like we have heard it all before. This can block the spirit's access to our minds.
He also talked about being slothful and procrastinating those things that are important.
“For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.
“And now, . . . as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end” (Alma 34:32–33).
L. Whitney Clayton - Seventy
Blessed Are the Pure in Heart (Text, Video)
He described fishing traps where fish can squeeze in, but was much more difficult to get out. He then talked about King David and how David got caught in a trap that was easy to get into, but impossible to get out of. He saw the bait and did not turn away from it.
He talked about how pornography is like this. Like David those that view pornography gradually get into more and trouble. Soon more explicit pictures are desired and the problem grows and becomes more addictive.
Walter F. Gonzalez - Member of the Presidency of the Seventy
Today is the Time (Text, Video)
"What are we doing today to engraven in our souls the gospel principles that will uphold us in times of adversity?"
President Henry B. Eyring - 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency
God Helps the Faithful Priesthood Holder (Text, Video)
He talked about how he now feels like he did when he was a young man and moved from a small ward to a large ward. The large ward had a complicated pattern for passing the sacrament efficiently to a large congregation. Even though he had passed the sacrament many times before he was scared that he would make a mistake in the new pattern.
He talked about giving a talk at a convention of churches where people were to decide which church to go to or at least which talk to go to on subsequent days. He said that preachers and people came up to him related how they had known members that had served not just their church, but the community. He said that he had been concerned about people not liking his message, but each day more and more people came. They came not because the talk was good, but because they had seen the impact of the message on lives of members of the Church.
President Thomas S. Monson - 1st Counselor in the First Presidency
A Royal Priesthood (Text, Video)
He spoke about the characteristics of a true priesthood holder.
Vision, effort, faith, prayer, and virtue.
President Gordon B. Hinckley - Prophet
Slow to Anger (Text, Video)
"A proverb in the Old Testament states: “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city” (Proverbs 16:32)."
He said that many of the inmates in prison are probably there because they did something in anger.
"Divorce too often is the bitter fruit of anger."