Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday September 30, 2007

Today we visited Yellow Creek Mennonite Church in Wakarusa, IN, because my wife's sister's boyfriend was giving a sermon there. It was the first time he had ever given one. I think they said that he was helping out the head pastor.

They started the service with having everyone stand and sing a few praise songs.

After the praise songs concluded a guy got up and talked about how they had been looking for a youth pastor. I'm not sure if he was giving a testimony or just a status report on how the search is going. He talked a little bit about how the committee that he was on had some great ideas and big plans and they are not working out. He talked of how Noah waited on the Lord and He came through.

They called up some new elders in the church. Elders in their church, as I understand it, are like a board of directors. There were a couple of guys called and one woman.

They asked the new elders some questions kind of like making promises. A little like when you see wedding vows being exchanged. One person, who I think is the new overseer or something like that asked similar questions to the congregation and the congregation stood and answered.

They gave introductions of the new elders and then the new elders gave a few words of acceptance. One of the elders in his acceptance talked about his thoughts as he considered accepting the position. He felt like he was not mature enough to do it, but he thought, "Is Jesus enough?" He thought about his weaknesses, but that he should not rely on himself or others, but that all he needed was to rely on Jesus.

They also called or as they said it, "installed" a new overseer. They said that he pastors the pastors. My sister-in-law told me that he represents the conference, which is the presiding authority over the pastor. It was interesting to me that his wife worships at a different Mennonite church. I guess he is a little like a high councilor in our church except that he is always responsible for being at the same church which is not his home church. Perhaps. I was a little unclear on that.

The overseer gave an acceptance speech. He said something about the congregation had a future that is not the past, but is connected to the past. I'm not sure, but I think he may have been referring to splits they have had into other congregations through disagreement and even though the future should not be that, the people should remember their history and also the positive heritage.

They prayed for the elders and the new overseer. They had anyone from the congregation come forwarded who wanted to lay hands on them while they prayed.

A woman introduced my sister-in-law's boyfriend. Then she mention a couple of kids in the congregation who had been in an accident or something that they needed to pray for. She then began to pray. In the prayer she then named others. It was a pretty lengthy prayer. Then a lady sang a song. Then they had a family go up there and give what they called a dramatic scripture reading of Psalm 136. I guess every other line in that Psalm is the same sentence. They mixed it up in their family reading the unique lines and then on the repeated lines he had the congregation chant them.

After that my sister-in-law's boyfriend spoke.
Generation to generation - Psalms of remembrance.
Psalms 78:1-7 - The what - Remember the praise worthy deeds of the Lord.
The why - So the next generation will trust the Lord and not forget the deeds.

He stated that God has four roles. God is the creator, but also the protector, sustainer, and leader.

He talked about the history of the Yellow Creek Mennonite Church. He said that the congregation is 160 years old. It is known for developing its youth. He said that God leads to support missionaries and the community. One way he sited that they are doing that is through creating a carnival as an alternative to Halloween.

He stated that long ago the congregation split into two congregations. Theirs and the one across the way. After they split they shared a building for 40 years. There will be disagreements, but get along.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday September 23, 2007

Sacrament Meeting
I was sustained as the 11 year old scout leader.

First Speaker
Being made in God's image.

Just as we teach our children the things necessary to be successful adults, God teaches us the things necessary to be successful beings in eternity.

Charity is something one becomes.

2nd Speaker
The Bishop spoke to us about some of the problems that we have in our ward.

We can not effectively grow our ward and strengthen our community if we keep our hearts tied to our favorite sins. Matthew 6:24 - 24 ¶ No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

DnC 101: - The Lord moved the saints to Jackson county Missouri. If the Lord moved them there, why were they driven out by the local people? It was in consequence of their transgressions. Our bishop said that all of the transgressions listed for the saints when they were driven out in verse 6 are present in out ward. 6 Behold, I say unto you, there were jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them; therefore by these things they polluted their inheritances.

He stated that The proclamation on the Family from 1995 was given as a proclamation to the world and not just to the Church.

He read from the 2nd paragraph of the Proclamation on the Family - gender is important.

"ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

Christ prayed that we all would be one as Christ and God are one. (John 17: 11, 21-22)

11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

He read from the 6th paragraph of the Proclamation on the Family - Husband and wife's duty to their children and each other
"children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations."

The bishop said the Lord must likes sports since he builds basketball hoops into the churches, but sports should not get in the way of us or our children doing our duties.

He talked about modesty. Some only dress modestly when convenient. He said that in Babylon clevage is in, but in God's way it is tucked in. It reminded me of the scripture about having to speak so plainly in front of wives and children. (Jacob 2: 7, 35)

7 And also it grieveth me that I must use so much boldness of speech concerning you, before your wives and your children, many of whose feelings are exceedingly tender and chaste and delicate before God, which thing is pleasing unto God;
• • •
35 Behold, ye have done greater iniquities than the Lamanites, our brethren. Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you. And because of the strictness of the word of God, which cometh down against you, many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds.

He read from the 8th paragraph of the Proclamation on the Family - The consequences of breaking covenants.
"WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."

Sunday School
1 Corinthians
Paul was correcting some doctrines that had been altered since he originally talked them.
1. Proper relationships between husbands, wives, and God. (1 Corinthians 11:1-3, 1 Corinthians 11:11-12.)
2. Sacramment (1 Corinthians 11:17-29)
3. Spiritual Gifts or the importance of all spiritual gifts. the Corinthians were putting too much emphasis on the gift of tongues. The gift of tongues generally edifies only a small group of people and we should focus on all the gifts to edify everyone. (1 Corinthians 12-14)
1 Cor 12:8-10 - Talks about some of the gifts of the spirit.
4. Resurrection - Jesus was resurrected and as a free gift we can be too. (1 Corinthians 15)

Another aspect that Paul was touching on was our temporal gifts and the necessity of each person and those gifts. He wanted people to seek after the gifts that would best edify the Church and best complement others' gifts.

As I had been studying the part of the lesson on charity, it appeared to me that for the most part people have misinterpreted what it is. I think many focus on giving to the poor, but one of the verses said something about that if we have given everything we have to the poor and have not charity we are nothing. That would seem to indicate that charity is not giving to the poor. It can be in giving to the poor, but it is not giving to the poor in and of itself.

Charity is not prideful, does not act unseemly or poorly or profanely, not easily provoked, thinketh no evil...

Paul councils about not acting as a child. There is a lot of "third grade" humor in our society. We joke about sex and body parts much like an elemenary school child would. Additionally to acting like an adult, but we are also to grow beyond the immaturity of our human weaknesses.

The teacher said that she felt like she was a kind and loving person...95% of the time. She read where it said endure to end. She said it didn't say endure 95% of the time.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday September 16, 2007

-Relief Society Broadcast Dinner - September 29 at 6:00pm at the stake center.
-Special Temple Recommend Reassignment - This was previously scheduled for September 23 from 12-1, but has been postponed until further notice.
-Temple Gardening Assignment Louisville, Kentucky Temple. A temple recommend is not required for this service project. (Contact the high priest group leader if you can attend)
-Storehouse Assignment - September 18th 6am. Contact your priesthood leaders if you can attend.
-Many emails are being returned or failed due to old email addresses or blockages. Ward members are being asked to update their email information on the ward web site.

Sacrament Meeting
1st Speaker
Supporting Ward Leaders
When we raise our hands to sustain our leaders we are not voting for them. We are binding ourselves to help them. Leaders, if they were voted in, would be accountable to the people. Because they are called of God they are accountable to God. They may be accountable for the people, but not to the people.

How do we sustain our leaders?
-Obeyng their council.
-Praying for them.
-Paying our tithes and offerings that they may have adequate resources to serve those under their stewardship.

2nd Speaker
He started by talking about being in the ward when it was created from the 2nd ward. he talked about different families that are now that were here then and what he remembered about them from when he was a youth.

He talked about that the accient Church had apostles and prophets. He said that the current day Church has these offices too. He said that he had met some of these men. He testified that they were men of God.

He went to his sister's wedding at the Nauvoo temple yesterday.

He noted that if this church had been the work of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, or anyone else it would not have withstood the trials it has been put through in the early years.

Sunday School
Trials and Adversity
The instructor related that her husband had been complaining to someone about their son's room being a mess. The person asked if the son was into drugs or if he had been arrested. The father said no to both. He then realized that the room may have been an issue that needed to be addressed, but maybe wasn't near as big a deal as what he was making it out to be.
One in the class gave the perspective said that he asks himself as he is worry about things and asks himself if it is life threatening. If so he finds that he can more easily bring it into perspective and not worry so much about it.

Elder's Quorum
Chapter 18 - Teachings Spencer W Kimball - Honorable, Happy, Successful Marriage.
What are signs of a honorable, happy, successful marriage? Here are some opinions from class:-Being comfortable holding your wife's hand in public is one sign.-You world should revolve around your wife. She should not be a satelite around your world.
Trends in the world are frustrating the plan that Heavenly Father has for those individuals. The thought that men and women have no need for each other or that if they do they have no need for marriage. 'The Lord has said that in order to obtain the highest of the three heavens or degrees of glory in the celestial kingdom, "a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];"And if he does not, he cannot obtain it." (D&C 131:2-3.)'
There was a lot of comments about media and the trend to belittle others in a joking manner. It was expressed in a couple of different ways by a couple of different people that belittling your spouse in anyway is dangerous.
One of the brothers shared the five love languages from a book that was written recently.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sunday September 9, 2007

Sacrament Meeting
A new deacon spoke. He told of how he was giving an assignment in school to bring in something that represented who he was. He took in a Book of Mormon. He talked about how important it was for him. His teacher asked how he got involved with the church. He shared his conversion story with her.

This young man became the president of the Deacons' quorum right after he became a deacon. He related how exciting that was for him and his father as they are recent convert to the Church.

The 2nd speaker spoke on the fifth article of faith. "5 We believe that a man must be acalled of God, by bprophecy, and by the laying on of chands by those who are in dauthority, to epreach the Gospel and administer in the fordinances thereof."

She sited several scriptures where the laying on of hands was used to pass on authority.

She also talked of how the family is the basic unit of the church and the strength of our congregations come from the strength of our families.

The choir sang abide with me. Afterward the bishop related that he went to a parochial school for several years and they would end the day with that song and a prayer, so it was something special to him.

A member of the stake high council was the last speaker. He spoke on receiving callings. He read D&C 1: 38 "What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my aword shall not pass away, but shall all be bfulfilled, whether by mine own cvoice or by the dvoice of my eservants, it is the fsame."

In the service of the Lord it is not where you serve, but how.

Sunday School
The Church should have unity. Many churches have been created just because of differences of opinion on how things should be done.
Mosiah 18:21-22 - 21 And he commanded them that there should be no acontention one with another, but that they should look forward with bone eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts cknit together in unity and in love one towards another.
22 And thus he commanded them to preach. And thus they became the achildren of God.

3 Ne. 11: 29 - 29 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of acontention is not of me, but is of the bdevil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.

Members of the Church in Paul's day were comparing themselves as to who was greater because of who baptised them or taught them.

The contention and immature ways of the members made it necessary for Paul to continue to feed them the milk of the gospel and hold back the meat of the gospel.

Helaman 5:12 - 12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the arock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your bfoundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty cstorm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

Christ is the foundation. Don't build the foundation on a certain preacher or a certain teacher.

Elder's Quorum
Spencer W Kimball manual chapter 17 - The Law of Chastity
If young men would not date young women that dress immodestly the immodest styles would change.

Pairing off should be postponed until 16 or older and even then much judgement should be used.
Start early in life to teach our children standards of chastity.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sunday September 2, 2007

Testimony Meeting
Nothing to report.

Sunday School
We talked about the differences of opinions that were taking place in the early Church. The contensions about taking the gospel to the gentiles and also about blending the law of Moses into the gospel. Even the brethren contended these points. Revelation from God came and settled it.

We saw some of this after Joseph Smith's death. As different people were contending over who should lead the church.

We also see this among the various churches as doctrines are debated and various people have their opinions about what the scriptures say.

Elder's Quorum
The prophet has counceled us to look at our finances and get out of debt. In this months Ensign magazine there was an insert of finances. We talked about this a bit.

In the insert there was an exerpt of a talk from October 1998 General Conference by President Hinckley.
"I urge you, brethren, to look to the condition of your finances. I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage.

"...If you have paid your debts, if you have a reserve, even though it be small, then should storms howl about your head, you will have shelter for your wives and children and peace in your hearts. That’s all I have to say about it, but I wish to say it with all the emphasis of which I am capable." (Ensign Nov 1998, 54)

In the insert there were also exepts from talks from the rest of the first presidency and a budget worksheet.

The following principles were shared to gain a few months' reserve.
  • Pay an honest tithe and give a generous fast offering.
  • Avoid debt.
  • Use a budget to record expenses and plan spending.
  • Save some money, if only a few coins each week.
  • Teach family members these principles.