Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday July 27, 2008 - Services Sullivan Hollow Second Ward

This Week at Church
Elders' Quorum

Lesson was based on a talk from April 2008 general conference.
Elder D. Todd Chistofferson - Apostle (Audio, Video)
The instructor cited the story that Elder Christofferson related about having a retired protestant minister come to his home because the minister was concerned about Elder Christofferson's salvation. He and the minister had talked about what it meant to be born again.

John 3:3-5
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be aborn bagain, he cannot csee the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be aborn of bwater and of the cSpirit, he cannot denter into the kingdom of God.

Unless we put off the natural man we have not come to Christ. Does this mean we are perfect and do not make mistakes, but if we have put off the natural man we constantly reach for Christ and strive to do better.
  1. 19 For the anatural bman is an cenemy to God, and has been from the dfall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he eyields to the enticings of the Holy fSpirit, and gputteth off the hnatural man and becometh a isaint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a jchild, ksubmissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
  2. 14 But the anatural man breceiveth not the things of the cSpirit of God: for they are dfoolishness unto him: neither can he eknow them, because they are fspiritually gdiscerned.
Mosiah 5: 2
2 And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty achange in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do bevil, but to do good continually.

Being born again is a process and not a one time event.

On a side note, possibly not related to the lesson during class and thoughts began to flood to me that I wrote down here. Not sure if they are well formed, but here is what I was able to capture as they flowed through my mind.

I saw a father with a toddler. Because of her stage of development he let her roam a little. She started to roam far enough to possibly impose on others and be too far from the safety of her father. He grabbed her dress and used it to tether and made her unhappy.

One might consider this action mean on the part of her father or even cruel. That is if one did not recognize that the person being managed was a toddler and that her safety, future happiness, and even her character was of primary importance to him. Though she doesn't see it and is angry at the restriction being put upon her, he loves her so much that he is willing to endure her wrath and show her more love and consoles her.

If she chooses to refuse to be consoled then she will be miserable the entire meeting.

That story may not be anything profound, but sometimes the perspective of members of the human race is very limited by how they perceive that God has treated them or others around them as they haven't taken the time to see what God sees or to realize there may be things they cannot see from where they are.

Sunday School
Book of Mormon Lesson 28: “The Word Is in Christ unto Salvation” p124

Alma compares the word of God to seed.
How to get a seed to grow:
  • Prepare the ground.
  • Plant the seed.
  • Nuture the seed and ground.
Alma 32:2-8
2 And it came to pass that after much labor among them, they began to have success among the apoor class of people; for behold, they were cast out of the synagogues because of the coarseness of their apparel—
3 Therefore they were not permitted to enter into their synagogues to worship God, being esteemed as filthiness; therefore they were poor; yea, they were esteemed by their brethren as adross; therefore they were bpoor as to things of the world; and also they were poor in heart.
4 Now, as Alma was teaching and speaking unto the people upon the hill aOnidah, there came a great bmultitude unto him, who were those of whom we have been speaking, of whom were cpoor in heart, because of their poverty as to the things of the world.
5 And they came unto Alma; and the one who was the foremost among them said unto him: Behold, awhat shall these my brethren do, for they are bdespised of all men because of their poverty, yea, and more especially by our priests; for they have ccast us out of our synagogues which we have labored abundantly to build with our own hands; and they have cast us out because of our exceeding poverty; and we have dno place to worship our God; and behold, ewhat shall we do?
6 And now when Alma heard this, he turned him about, his face immediately towards him, and he beheld with great joy; for he beheld that their aafflictions had truly bhumbled them, and that they were in a cpreparation to hear the word.
7 Therefore he did say no more to the other multitude; but he stretched forth his hand, and cried unto those whom he beheld, who were truly penitent, and said unto them:
8 I behold that ye are alowly in heart; and if so, blessed are ye.

Alma looked and was able to see what God had prepared in the current affliction, much like Amulek had when the robbers were scattering the kings flocks.

27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than adesire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words. defines experiment as:
–verb (used without object)

to try or test, esp. in order to discover or prove something: to experiment with a new procedure.

If you do not follow the formula then the experiment will fail.

Alma 32:31
31 And now, behold, are ye sure that this is a good seed? I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto its own alikeness.

Someone compared our spirits to a lawn. She said that our spirits have sprinkler systems, but if we don't turn them on through prayer and scripture study then our spirits will wither like our grass in summer.

Sacrament Meeting
Youth Speaker
Listening to the Spirit
22 But the afruit of the bSpirit is clove, djoy, epeace, flongsuffering, ggentleness, goodness, hfaith,

He shared a story with us. He said that he was driving one day and he felt like he needed to stop where there was no stop sign. It didn't make sense to him, but he stopped. A moment later a car blew through the intersection in front of him. Had he not stopped he would've been t-boned by the other car.

After the youth speaker a member of the bishopric read a letter from one of the missionaries that is out from our ward.

First Adult Speaker
Pure love is an attribute of deity.

He shared a story from Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant Chapter 15
'I heard a story of a brother (I have forgotten his name now) who attended a meeting in the early days. President Brigham Young made an appeal for donations to send to the Missouri River to help the Saints gather to Zion. He wanted everybody who could afford it, to give an ox or a cow or any other donation. One good brother jumped up and said, “I will give a cow.” Another brother got up and said, “I will give a cow.” The first brother had two cows and a large family; the other brother had a half-dozen cows and a small family. And, so the spirit [of the devil] came over the first man, [saying,] “Now, look here, you cannot get along with your large family; you cannot possibly get along with one cow. Now, that other man has got a small family and six cows; he could just as well give two or three and still get along all right.” As he started home, he walked four or five blocks, all the time getting weaker and weaker. Finally he thought, “I guess I won’t,” and then he realized the difference in the spirit that was tempting him and the one that had prompted his promise to the President of the Church that he would give a cow. Here was a spirit telling him to fail to fulfill his obligation, to fail to be honest, to fail to live up to his promise. He stopped short and turned around and said, “Mr. Devil, shut up or just as sure as I live, I will walk up to Brother Brigham’s office and give him the other cow.” He was not tempted any more.'

Second Speaker
He talked about his mission to England.

He quoted from President Hinckley's talk of the April 1995 general conference.

'“Now, my brethren and sisters, the time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike” (“This Is the Work of the Master,” Ensign, May 1995, 71).'

There were a couple of things printed in the bulletin today that I think are worthy of inclusion here.

"From the "Lord's Prayer" we read that being forgiven of our sins, as hard as it sometimes may be, is DIRECTLY linked to OUR forgiving others of theirs. In Matthew 6:12 and Nephi 13:11 we read, "And forgive us our debts (sins), as we forgive our debtors (those who have sinned against us)."

In the end, justice and mercy will be meted out to all of us by the Lord. He employs no substitute for this. Thankfully, He, the master of the universe and the God of mercy and love, is THE judge." - Our Bishop

"Closely related to our own obligation to repent is the generosity of letting others do the same...In this, we participate in the very essence of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. [underline added] ...We don't want God to remember our sins, so there is something fundamentally wrong in our relentlessly trying to remember others' sins...It is one of those ironies of godhood that in order to find peace, the offended as well as the offender must engage the principle of forgiveness." Elder Jeffery R. Holland, "The Peaceable Things of the Kingdom." Ensign, November, 1996, 82."

"O, Be Wise." - President Gordon B. Hinckley

What happened with you this week at church?

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