Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday February 24, 2008 - Sunday Services Cumberland Ward

Sacrament Meeting
Youth Speaker
I was unable to capture any notes from this talk.

My wife spoke today. Below is her talk.

I was asked to speak today on a talk given by President Thomas S. Monson back in April of 2007. It is entitled I Know That My Redeemer Lives! I would like to start by reading a little piece of what he said in that talk. President Monson said, “My brothers and sisters, we laugh, we cry, we play, we love, we live; And then we die. Death is our universal heritage. All must pass its portals. Death claims the aged, the weary and worn. It visits the youth in the bloom of hope and the glory of expectation. Nor are little children kept beyond its grasp. In the words of the Apostle Paul, ‘It is appointed unto men once to die.’ End of quote.

Then we have Jesus of Nazareth. He provided the way that man might live again. That we might reunite with those that we have lost to death. It sounds so simple and so reassuring. Until tragedy hit me. I seemed to of lost all faith in my Redeemer.

We had just moved to Indianapolis. I found myself living in an apartment with two small children ages 3 1/2 and 1, two dogs, and a husband. Then I found out I was pregnant. Things seemed to be going fine. Until one day I got sick and came down with a really high fever. Things seemed to just go down from there. Then one day I found myself laying on the sofa in a lot of pain, with two little kids and two dogs staring at me. I remember calling the doctor and him saying, “It sounds like you’re loosing the baby.” I said, “Ok, what should I do?” He said, “There is nothing we can do, but wait it out.” A few hours later I found myself sitting on the bathroom floor holding this tiny little fetus in my hand. As I looked down and through the transparent skin of this tiny creation, I saw the organs, and the tiny blood vessels that ran through its head. I thought how could this babe not of had a spirit? Why didn’t God let me carry this baby full term, give it a name, and a proper burial? What happens to those we loose through miscarriages? There seemed to be no answers.

If only I could have had the words that President Monson said so nice in his talk. He said, “Through tears and trials, through fears and sorrows, through heartache and loneliness of loosing loved ones, is assurance that life is everlasting. Our Lord and Savior is the living witness of that. With all my heart and the fervency of my soul, I lift up my voice in testimony as a special witness and declare that God does live. Jesus is His Son, the Only Begotten of the father. He it was who died on the cross to atone for our sins. He became the first fruits of the Resurrection. Because He died, all shall live again. Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives, I know that my redeemer lives. May the whole world know it and live by that knowledge.” End of quote.

Remembering my Redeemer was the first step I had to take. If we look in Doctrine and covenants 76:1-3 it reads…
1 a
Hear, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth, and rejoice ye inhabitants thereof, for the Lord is bGod, and beside him there is cno dSavior.
2 aGreat is his wisdom, bmarvelous are his ways, and the extent of his doings none can find out.

3 His apurposes fail not….

Through I may not understand or have answers to all my questions I know His purposes fail not.

Some say that life is a race and to stay on course one has to stay focused, for a runner who looks backwards will lose the race. Too much comfort in life invites us to watch the race rather that to energetically participate in it. Focus is essential to a race. If a runner fails to focus the runner fails. But how do we keep focused? We must forget what lies behind in the past, and remember that our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. He pressed on until the end. He endured to the end. In Hebrews 12:2 it reads:
2 Looking unto Jesus the aauthor and bfinisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him cendured the cross, despising the dshame, and is set down at the right hand of the ethrone of God.

The other day I came across this recipe for a chocolate cake or you could say for every day life.

  • first you begin with bitter chocolate
  • stir in some dry, tasteless flour
  • add several raw eggs and some milk
  • mix these and several more ingredients thoroughly
  • bake the batter in a hot over
  • the end result a lovely chocolate cake
Now think about your life.
  • the bitter
  • the dry
  • the raw
  • the sour
  • the mixing and
  • the heat
Sounds bad, even feels bad, but in God’s hands these things will result into something lovely. As we see in Romans 8:28 and it reads. 28 And we know that all things work together for agood to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

If we can but remember some of the bitter and dry, raw and sour, mixing and heat our Redeemer went through for us. If we look in Matthew 27:27-31 starting in verse 27 it reads.
27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the acommon hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.

28 And they stripped him, and put on him a ascarlet robe.

29 And when they had aplatted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a breed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

30 And they aspit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.

31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

President Monson said, “He was ridiculed, reviled, mocked, and nailed to a cross amidst shouts of, ‘Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.’ ‘He saved others, himself he cannot save.’ His response, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.’ ‘Into thy hands I commend my spirit,’ and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. His body was placed by loving hands in a sepulcher hewn of stone.” End of quote.

We know that our Redeemer over came death and three days later arose from the dead. As we read in Mark 16:1-8 starting at verse 1. 1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

2 And very early in the morning the afirst day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the brising of the sun.
3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
4 aAnd when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, aclothed in a long white garment; and they were baffrighted.
6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed:

I am so grateful to my Redeemer and for having the Atonement in my life. I got this statement given by Henry B. Eyring from the LDS gems. He said, “We are safe on the rock which is the Savior when we have yielded in faith in Him. Have responded to the Holy Spirit’s direction to keep the commandments long enough and faithfully enough that the power of the Atonement has changed our hearts. When we have by that experience, become as a child able to love and obey we are on the sure foundation.” End of quote.

I would like to share this story with you before I close. Once there was a young couple that had two boys. When their third son was born he had heart problems. He was in and out of the hospital all through infancy. At about 7 months of age he came down with ammonia, and died. After the death of their son the young couple felt they needed to find a church. Through a friend they were introduced to the missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This young couple and their two boys where baptized. A few years later their oldest son met a cute little blond. He was able to share the gospel with her. She later decided to get baptized, and then they married, and had four beautiful children. Who are now being raised in the gospel. They will some day serve missions and share the gospel with others. They will later have children of their own and be able to raise them in the gospel. Because my brother-in-law chose to give up his experience of living here on earth I am standing here today. Through the hardship and loss that my-in-laws endured many have come to the knowledge of the gospel. We may not understand the hardship that comes our way, but we can be assured that God’s purpose fail not.

I know that my Redeemer lives. I know that He loves me, and that I to can become something lovely. May we put the past behind us and not look back. May we remember that the bitter and dry, the raw and sour, the mixing and heating in our lives is only there to make us into something lovely. May we remember the Atonement and keep the Holy Spirit with us always. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Third Speaker
He based his remarks on the April 2007 General Conference talk "This Day" by Elder Henry B. Eyring
The opposite of procrastination is action.

He gave the quote "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift." I could not find who said it. It seemed to be attributed to many people, but there was nothing concrete I could find and I did not ask the person who spoke who they were quoting.

He said of over coming procrastination, "Take the first step."

Alma 34:33 - "And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many awitnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not bprocrastinate the day of your crepentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the dnight of edarkness wherein there can be no labor performed."

We have to act today, even if there is time to wait, because we need to develop habits.

He related a story where he begrudgingly went to clean a cemetery for a service project. As he was raking he saw a family placing flowers on a grave and he understood a little more about why he needed to be there and why what he was doing was important.

He quoted Andy Andrews from his book The Traveler’s Gift.

"I am a person of action.

Beginning today, I will create a new future by creating a new me. No longer will I dwell in a pit of despair, moaning over squandered time and lost opportunity. I can do nothing about the past. My future is immediate. I will grasp it in both hands and carry it with running feet. When I am faced with the choice of doing nothing or doing something, I will always choose to act! I seize this moment. I choose now.

I am a person of action. I am energetic. I move quickly.

Knowing that laziness is a sin, I will create a habit of lively behavior. I will walk with a spring in my step and a smile on my face. The lifeblood rushing through my veins is urging me upward and forward into activity and accomplishment. Wealth and prosperity hide from the sluggard, but rich rewards come to the person who moves quickly.

I am a person of action. I inspire others with my activity. I am a leader.

Leading is doing. To lead, I must move forward. Many people move out of the way for a person on the run; others are caught up in his wake. My activity will create a wave of success for the people who follow. My activity will be consistent. This will instill confidence in my leadership. As a leader, I have the ability to encourage and inspire others to greatness. It is true: An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep!

I am a person of action. I can make a decision. I can make it now.

A person who moves neither left nor right is destined for mediocrity. When faced with a decision, many people say they are waiting for God. But I understand, in most cases, God is waiting for me! He has given me a healthy mind to gather and sort information and the courage to come to a conclusion. I am not a quivering dog, indecisive and fearful. My constitution is strong and my pathway clear. Successful people make their decisions quickly and change their mind slowly. Failures make their decisions slowly and change their mind quickly. My decisions come quickly, and they lead to victory.

I am a person of action. I am daring. I am courageous.

Fear no longer has a place in my life. For too long, fear has outweighed my desire to make things better for my family. Never again! I have exposed fear as a vapor, an impostor who never had any power over me in the first place! I do not fear opinion, gossip, or the idle chatter of monkeys for all are the same to me. I do not fear failure, for in my life, failure is a myth. Failure only exists for the person who quits. I do not quit.

I am courageous. I am a leader. I seize this moment. I choose now."

Sunday School
Book of Mormon Lesson 7: “I Know in Whom I Have Trusted”

a. Joseph, last-born son of Lehi and Sariah (2 Nephi 3:1-3)
b. Joseph of Egypt (2 Nephi 3:4-5)
c. Joseph Smith Jr. (2 Nephi 3:6-15)
d. Joseph Smith Sr. (2 Nephi 3:15)
2 Ne. 3: 7
"Yea, Joseph truly said: Thus saith the Lord unto me: A choice aseer will I braise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins. And unto him will I give commandment that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the cknowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers."
Ezek. 37: 17, 19
" 17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become aone in thine hand. • • •
19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of aJoseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand."

Here are some thoughts from the manual.
Nephi asked himself why he yielded to sorrow and sin in spite of the things that he had seen and the things that he knew (2 Nephi 4:26-27).

What does it mean to “shake at the appearance of sin”? (See 2 Nephi 4:31; Mosiah 5:2; Alma 13:12.)

The lesson was based on the talk The Atonement by Cleon Skousen cited in Gospel Diamond Dust - Inspirational Speeches of W. Cleon Skousen
Why do we need the atonement? Why all that pain and suffering that the savior had to go through?

In the talk Brother Skousen quoted President Kimball from a priesthood conference. "I want everyone to understand that in this life we only have a limited amount of priesthood authority with which to function. There are many ordinances that as yet must be given to us int he next world, and one of them will be the ordinance of resurrection. We are not allowed to perform that ordinance here. It is an ordinance of the priesthood."

2 Nephi 2:14 - "And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and alearning; for there is a God, and he hath bcreated all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be cacted upon."

DnC 93:29 - "Man was also in the abeginning with God. bIntelligence, or the clight of dtruth, was not ecreated or made, neither indeed can be. "
-The instructor said that intelligences are eternal. Even as intelligences we had agency.

Abraham 3:19-23 -
19 And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am amore intelligent than they all.
20 The Lord thy God sent his angel to adeliver thee from the hands of the priest of Elkenah.
21 I dwell in the midst of them all; I now, therefore, have come down unto thee to declare unto thee the aworks which my hands have made, wherein my bwisdom excelleth them all, for I crule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence, over all the intelligences thine eyes have seen from the beginning; I came down in the beginning in the midst of all the intelligences thou hast seen.
22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the aintelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the bnoble and great ones;
23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast achosen before thou wast born.

-There are different degree of intelligences.

DnC 93:33 - "For man is aspirit. The elements are beternal, and cspirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; "

The instructor quoted from the talk. "That which is acted upon is called “eternal element” (two blocks–act, acted upon)–element, matter. Joseph Smith said that matter exists on two dimensions– the very refined element is called spirit. And the more coarse element is called this temporal matter we’ve got here, physical (D&C 131:7-8). It’s all matter but it exists on two planes. Like ice and water. They’re the same thing but they’re on different dimensions. Everything is made up of a combination of intelligence and matter. They are the building blocks of the universe. (Abraham 4:10,12,18; Helaman 12:8-9)"

The instructor mentioned that science has recently begun to find that elements do not always act predictably as science would say they should. The instructor proposed that those elements could be operating on some level of intelligence.

DnC 29:36 - God's power is his honor or integrity. God will not tell a lie. He will not break the laws of physics. He will not break eternal laws or he would cease to be God.
" 36 And it came to pass that Adam, being tempted of the adevil—for, behold, the bdevil was before Adam, for he crebelled against me, saying, Give me thine dhonor, which is my epower; and also a fthird part of the ghosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their hagency; "

Alma 42 -
13 Therefore, according to justice, the aplan of bredemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would ccease to be God.
22 But there is a law given, and a apunishment affixed, and a brepentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the claw, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God.
25 What, do ye suppose that amercy can rob bjustice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God.

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