Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday January 27, 2008 - Sunday Services Cumberland Ward

Sacrament Meeting
Youth Speaker He quoted from 1 Corinthians. 15:58 - "58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye astedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." He said that this is the Mutual theme. They recite part of this at mutual (youth group) meetings.
He listed some ways to stay stedfast and I was able to capture a couple of them.
-Good morals
-Be fed (attend church, read, and pray).

2nd Speaker
She 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. ‘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."

She spoke of the necessity to be engaged with our children and to be actively teaching them the gospel in our homes.

She quoted a letter that Elder Claudio R. M. Costa of the Presidency of the Seventy quoted in his October 2007 General Conference talk Don't Leave for Tomorrow What You Can Do Today. Permission was given to print in with his talk, so I will refer you to his talk to read it, but here is the introduction he gave to it: "I recently read a text which expresses the urgency of not leaving for tomorrow what you can do today. In July of this year Brazil witnessed the most devastating aircraft accident in its history. There were 199 people killed, including passengers, airline workers, crew members, and others who were at the site when the accident happened. The text I mentioned was said to have been posted on the airline communication board by the husband of one of the flight attendants who died in the accident. It is entitled "Tomorrow Never Comes" and is based upon a poem by Norma Cornett Marek."

3rd Speaker
The speaker gave me a copy of their talk and I have included it here below. Everything to Sunday school is their talk.

The need of personal revelation in our daily lives is overwhelming. The thought of going through one day without petitioning the Lord for guidance and direction scares me. Who am I to think I can raise my family, be in harmony with my wife, fulfill my duties in the church, be a good example at work, and keep the commandments of God without talking to Him and receiving revelation on how to do this?

This topic is one I have studied about for several years. You can easily apply the saying, “The more you learn the less you know.” So I will rely heavily on the scriptures and the words of the prophets, seers and revelators. We will be using the scriptures a great deal so instead of having you look up the scriptures to follow along I am going to try something I feel will be more beneficial to us all. If you have a writing instrument and a piece of paper you will be able to jot down the scriptures that will be used for this subject, for your own personal study further into the important subject of personal revelation.

After we experienced our spiritual birth, Heavenly Father counseled and corrected us, and we were instructed, enlightened and edified in his holy presence. Now that we have experienced our physical birth in mortality, He desires to continue to communicate with us and to give us counsel and direction. He does this through personal revelation, which involves PREPARARION, PRAYER, and PROMPTINGS. This is one of the greatest gifts and blessings we can receive.

To receive personal revelation we must prepare ourselves. President Spencer W Kimball told us that, “God reveals himself to people who are prepared for such manifestations.” A. The Savior taught us what we need to do to prepare in D&C 93:1

We must repent, ask though prayer, be obedient, search the scriptures, fast, think pure thoughts, and develop a spirit of reverence. B. Let’s start with, “We must repent.”

In Moroni 8:26 Mormon explains the fruits of repentance in receiving revelation, “And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart, and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost”

Second we must ask through prayer.

In D&C 50:29 the Savior promised, “And if ye are purified and cleansed form all sin, ye shall ask whatsoever you will in the name of Jesus and it shall be done”

Third is to be obedient.

Again we receive council from the Savior in D&C 130:21, “When we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” So we have to obey in order to be blessed.

He also promised in D&C 63:23, “But unto him that keepeth my commandments I will give the mysteries of my kingdom” E. Forth is to search the scriptures.

We must study our scriptures daily. That does not mean we read our scriptures daily. Nephi gave a great promise to all those who searched the scriptures in 2 NE 32:3, “Wherefore I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ, for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.”

What a great promise! In need of direction? Search the scriptures for you answer.

Fifth we must fast.

Alma 5:46 tells us that Alma had great desire to know of the truthfulness of the doctrines so he prepared himself through fasting and prayer.

Alma 17:3 the sons of Mosiah had given themselves too much prayer and fasting and as a result they had received the spirit of revelation. So how many times is “much prayer and fasting?” Once a month?

Sixth we must have pure thoughts.

If we desire our Heavenly Father to communicate to us we must remove our impure and worldly thoughts. Turn our minds to spiritual matters and fill it with uplifting thoughts. The Savior councils us again on the matter in D&C 121:45, “Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.”

Seventh we must develop a spirit of reverence.

Elder Boyd K Packer counseled, “Inspiration comes more easily in peaceful setting.” He added, “Irreverence suits the purposes of the adversary by obstructing the delicate channels of revelation in both mind and spirit and reverence invites revelation.”

Irreverence makes it hard for the Spirit to teach us and it also shows disrespect to Deity. Receiving revelation is sacred. It is a divine discussion with Deity and must be reverenced if it is to work. The savior councils us on this in D&C 84:54 and D&C 6:12.

Now that we have discussed Preparation let’s talk about Prayer.

To pray is to have a conversation with Deity. This crucial communication should be conducted with great care and in compliance with sacred counsel.

First we must pray often.

We must commune with our Heavenly Father on a regular bases and this communication must not be come casual and repetitive. To do this is to ignore the council of the Savior found in D&C 6:12 “Trifle not with sacred things.”

It is not the amount of time we spend praying but the depth of our desire that results in revelation.

Second we must ponder before we pray.

The Savior counseled in D&C 9:8, “Study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right.”

We cannot expect the Lord to just give us all of the answers all the time. Part of our learning process is to figure out the correct answer on our own by pondering and meditation then to confirm that answer with the Lord.

Third we must ask for the right things.

We must be careful that we ask for that which is right. The Savior counsels in D&C 8:10 that we should, “Not ask for that which you ought not” and he then warns us in D&C 88:65, “And if ye ask anything that is not expedient for you, it shall turn unto your condemnation.”

Forth we must ask in faith.

Faith is the bottom line in the Gospel. One cannot do anything without faith. The Savior gave us a powerful promise concerning faith in our prayers. This is found in 3 NE 18:20, “And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.”

Fifth we must ask in humility.

Praying with great humility is essential if our prayers are to be heard and answered. In D&C 112:10 the Savior said, “Be thou humble and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answer to thy prayers.”

The Savior also warns those who forget the importance of the principal of humility. D&C 3:4

Sixth we must ask in sincerity and with intensity.

If you really want to learn how to pray study the example of Enos. This is my all time favorite book in the book of Mormon. Every one of us can in some way relate to Enos. I will not dive into this book in this talk but I will leave it for you to study and feel the spirit yourselves.

Now that we have discussed preparation and prayer let us dive into the third topic Promptings.

The Father speaks to us through the promptings of the Spirit. If we have properly prepared we will become sensitive to these promptings. There are specific ways in which the mind and the heart are touched as we receive personal revelation.

First we can have promptings to the mind.

This can happen in a variety of ways. They come as enlightenment, in the form of instant recall, and audible voice, counsel from leaders, dreams. Visions and visitations.

Enlightenment comes as an increase in light, knowledge, and understanding. The Savior instructed Oliver Cowdery in D&C 6:15, “I did enlighten thy mind and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth”

The prophet Joseph Smith describes this process, “When you feel pure intelligence flowing into you it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it you may find if fulfilled the same day or soon those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it you may grow into the principle of revelation until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.”

The scriptures play a big roll. There are times while searching, studying, and pondering the scriptures that we receive personal revelation as did Joseph Smith did when he read James 1:5

Personal Revelation may come in the form of an instant recall of things the Spirit once taught us that may apply to our present situation. In John 14:26 the Savior taught, “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name he shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

One can hear and audible voice as did Nephi and Lehi did when they were imprisoned.

The Lord speaks through His chosen leaders. The Savior taught this principal in D&C 1:38 when he said, “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken…whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants it is the same.”

Several Prophets throughout the scriptures have received Personal Revelation through dreams, visions or visitations.

The Spirit also reveals the will of the Lord though our Heart. These feelings may be characterized as peaceful, warm. Compelling, or dark or confusing in nature.

The most frequent confirmation of the Spirit comes through peaceful feelings. Joseph Smith stated, “They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits—it will whisper peace and joy to their souls.”

Second there are the warm and spiritual feelings. In D&C 9:8 we are giving instruction that if you ask if something is right and it is right He will cause that your bosom shall bun within you; therefore you shall feel that it is right.”

Third there is the compelling feeling. It is characterized by a sense of urgency, a sense of restlessness, and a sense of surety. It was the feeling Nephi experienced when he was commanded to slay Laban. The prophet Joseph Smith described this feeling as he spoke about the principle of baptism for the dead in D&C 128:1, “That subject seems to occupy my mind, and press itself upon my feelings the strongest.”

Fourth we have the dark and confused feeling. This is explained in D&C 9:9 when we are given a stupor of thought with will cause us to forget that thing which was wrong.

The Lord has given us powerful promises concerning personal revelation. These promises are given based upon certain conditions: “If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things.”It is a tender experience to petition our Heavenly Father in sincere heartfelt prayer and know that He will respond with personal revelation. His promises are sure but we must properly prepare to be receptive to the promptings of the Spirit in receiving this guidance.

I have a strong testimony of the power of personal revelation. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we need this power in our everyday lives. The Lord will always keep his promises so it is up to us to keep ours.

Sunday School
Book of Mormon Lesson 4
1 Nephi 12-14
1. Nephi sees the future of his descendants and his brothers’ descendants.
2. Nephi sees the formation of the great and abominable church, the colonization of the Americas, the Apostasy, and the Restoration of the gospel.
3. Nephi sees the blessings promised to the faithful; he also sees the destruction of the great and abominable church.

Conference talk - Boyd K Packer - Nov 2007 - The Weak and the Simple of the Church
"We have sustained the general officers of the Church in a solemn, sacred procedure. This common procedure occurs whenever leaders or teachers are called or released from office or whenever there is reorganization in a stake or a ward or a quorum or in the auxiliaries (see D&C 124:123, 144; see also D&C 20:65–67; 26:2). It is unique to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." One must have the authority to serve in the Church by another in authority. DnC 42:11 - 11 Again I say unto you, that it shall not be given to any one to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church.

J Ruben Clark - It is not where you serve, but how.

"Years ago when I first received an appointment that resulted in my picture being in the newspapers, one of my high school teachers, evidently quite astonished, was heard to say, 'That just proves that you can’t tell by looking at a frog how high he is going to jump!'"

Service is an action word.

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