Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday May 27, 2007

Sacrament Meeting
First Speaker
Elder DeFreeze, one of the missionaries serving in our ward.
He quoted from a fortune cookie that they had seen recently. "Happiness is not a destination, but a journey." Not exactly an authoritative resource, but still something worth thinking about.

Second Speaker
Sister Simmons, wife of the president of the Indiana Indianapolis mission.
She related how she talked to the apostle Elder Oaks before they started serving their mission. She wanted council on how they could be a good mission president and wife of a mission president. His response was, "Just love them."

Piano Solo
"My Heavenly Father Loves Me,” Children’s Songbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 228–29

Third Speaker
President Simmons
He spoke about opposition. He related how butterflies emerge underdeveloped and weak if they are helped to get out of their cocoon.

He also talked about how some people you meet are not willing to change their life for the better. This does not mean we give up hope for them. Those that were not ready yesterday may be ready tomorrow. A wedding, a death, the birth of a child or some other life changing event may soften their heart and make them begin to ponder the direction their life is taking.

Sunday School
The unjust judge. Always pray that the Lord will give us our righteous desires.

It is hard to get into trouble if you are praying throughout the day.

Joint Priesthood and RS Meeting
The missionaries talked to us about missionary work.

As part of the ward mission plan they talked about having family mission plans. Just like the gospel works from the family and individual level so does missionary work. Making plans for ourselves and our families that coincided with the ward's plan probably makes a lot of sense.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunday May 20, 2007

Sacrament Meeting
The first speaker was one of the young women. She chose 4 standards (agency, media, repentance, and education) from the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet to speak on.

Below is what the pamphlet says on each subject with comments I noted from the speaker.

Agency and Accountability

Pamphlet- "Choose righteousness and happiness, no matter what your circumstances. Take responsibility for the choices you make. Develop your abilities and talents, and use them for good. Avoid idleness and be willing to work hard."

Pamphlet- "Prepare to be an influence for good in the world. Obtain an education, and be enthusiastic about learning. Attend seminary."
Speaker - She noted that being diligent in your school work is very important education also means seeking after spiritual knowledge. She also quoted
Alma 37: 35"O, remember, my son, and alearnbwisdom in thy cyouth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God."

Entertainment and the Media
Pamphlet - "Choose uplifting entertainment. Avoid anything that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Commit to keeping God’s standards."

Speaker - She quoted the 13th Article of Faith. "
aWe believe in being bhonest, true, cchaste, dbenevolent, virtuous, and in doing egood to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we fhope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to gendure all things. If there is anything hvirtuous, ilovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."
Pamphlet - "Through the Savior’s Atonement, you can receive forgiveness and be cleansed from your sins when you repent. Confess your sins to the Lord and to those you have wronged. If the sins are serious, you also need to confess them to your bishop."

Second speaker
Young Woman Personal Progress program
The true measure of growth is not how tall you are, but what is in your heart.
Third speaker
Duty to God program for young men
The program is for young men to learn how to serve God and be good men. One aspect of this is when young men reach a certain age they are expected to help visit everyone in their congregation. He also quoted Alma 37: 35.

The folly of youth is not what is expected. They may still act foolishly at times, but this program let's them know that is not what is expected of them.

Sunday School
Luke 15 and Matthew 18:11-14
Prodigal son
We get very caught up in how much work it is to take care of the 99 that we don't go after the 1.

Ten Lepers
Nine were healed skin deep, but only one was made whole.

The reality of Satan. He seeks to make everyone miserable like unto himself (2 Ne. 2: 27).

His tactics are like the frog in boiling water. He slowly turns up the heat and you don't even notice. He gives you little temptations. If you give into it, then the next things is slightly bigger and more severe of a sin. We get use to things being shown to us that are sinful and we resist it less. Gradually the frog is boiled, because he doesn't realize the water is getting hot.

One does not yield to a henous sin without having first yielded to smaller ones.
Satan can not force us to do anything. Through using our agency, free will, we are more powerful than he is. To bolster our will, we should call upon God through Christ when those temptations start and be prepared to listen to the promptings we receive from him.

Right decisions are easier to make before we are in the depths of temptation.
Satan knows that where we were weak before we will be vulnerable again. We must fortify our weaknesses. We must be extra cautious around temptations that have tripped us up before.

When cows break through the fence they will again return to the spot in the fence that they broke before, so the owner of the cow must be very carefull to put extra fortifications in that area.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday May 13, 2007

Sacrament Meeting
Mother's Day
First Speaker
Quoted from the proclamation on the family, "Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children." She stated that the influence of mother is being shifted by our society to outside forces such as school, church, and daycare.

Second Speaker
Talked of various mothers in the scriptures.
-Eve - The mother of all living. Probably one of the most misunderstood and maligned mothers in the scriptures.
-Hannah - Mother of Samuel the prophet. She was willing to give her child up just to have the opportunity to be his mother.
-Sariah - Wife of Lehi, mother of Nephi. She was willing to have faith in her husband, the prophet to leave all her comforts.
-Mothers of the 2000 stripling warriors- The sons were valient and remember that "their mothers had taught them."

Motherhood is the highest calling. He quoted something from Elder Nelson, I think, but I did not catch the reference. Motherhood is the greatest profession, but since that was not an options that was available to him, he thought that being a doctor and taking care of people was as close as he could get.
Sunday School
The monkey trap - A box secured to the ground with a whole big enough for a monkey to get his open hand in, but not big enough to get its closed hand out. His greed will not allow him to let go of what he reached in to get, so he is trapped.

The story of the rich man that did everything, but possibly could not give up his riches. If he was not prepared to let go of his riches to follow God then Satan had him in a sort of monkey trap.

The rich casting money into the offering place of their abundance. The poor widow cast in all that she had. Which takes more faith to give our extra or to give everything.

These two stories show that we should be prepared to give everything to the Lord (Our time, our money, our vices...)

It is a misconception that the offender must humble him to the dust before we can forgive them. Matthew stated, "15 But if ye aforgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matt 6:15)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sunday May 6, 2007

We were visiting in Elkhart, IN this week. They were doing a stake conference, but the majority of it was a satellite broadcast for the Eastern Midwest United Stated. It cut out several times during the broadcast which was a little frustrating, but if you kept focused and didn't let it distract you it was okay. We did miss a couple of keep points that speakers were trying to make.

Although it was interesting while we were singing an intermediate hymn that Salt Lake was putting words on the screen for and providing the accompaniment. The feed cut out through most of the song and the congregation continued on. It was nice to see that we were comfortable about how meetings work and with the hymn that we were able to keep going. It was a nice spirit and a nice feeling of common bond with the congregation.

The Young Men General President spoke first. He quoted something about "When we want to talk to God we should pray. When we want him to talk to us we should read the scriptures."

The 2nd councelor in the Relief Society General Presidency spoke. She also touched on the importance of prayer. She focused on praying with our families as well as family home evening and family counsils.

She went into the great value there is in teaching children to work. Through work they learn skills and also how to serve.

The President of the Seventy spoke next. He related the parable of the watchman from the Doctrine and Covenants and gave his thoughts on it. (D&C 101:43-62) He talked about the watchmen being prophets, church leaders, husbands, and fathers. The parable talks about the servants planting trees and begining to make all of the preparations that the nobleman commanded them for defending the field. Because the servants felt that everything was safe and peaceful they did not finish the preparations and the vineyard was overrun. If we are slack in doing the little preparations then when the big problems come they will over run our lives.

President Boyd K. Packer - Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke next. Over the years the personal contact of general authorities has had to be lessened due to the growth of the church. In spite of that we have technologies at our disposal that have allowed their messages and even their faces to go to more people.

He spoke of how Wilford Woodruff's missionary labors started in Tennessee. President Packer also shared some of those early experiences.

He also talked about President Hinckley and how close he has become to him and how well he has gotten to know him over the last 50 years.

The last speaker was President Hinckley. This area of the country has been an area of great missionary triumph and also tragedy.

He said that it was necessary to restore the gospel after the dark ages and not just reform it.

He encouraged us all to pray in our families and thanked us all for the prayers of support for him.