Monday, July 07, 2008

Sunday June 29, 2008 - Services Sullivan Hollow Second Ward

Combined Relief Society/Priesthood 5th Sunday Meeting
Emergency Preparedness
Ether 3:14
14 Behold, I am he who was aprepared from the foundation of the world to bredeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the cFather and the Son. In me shall all mankind have dlife, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my esons and my daughters.

32 For behold, this alife is the time for men to bprepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of cthis life is the day for men to perform their dlabors.

Alma 48

10 And thus he was preparing to asupport their liberty, their lands, their wives, and their children, and their peace, and that they might live unto the Lord their God, and that they might maintain that which was called by their enemies the cause of bChristians.

There is temporal and spiritual preparedness. If you teach a kid about both types of preparedness and they will be more likely to be safe.

We have been counseled to have a year supply of food and be debt free, but most are closer to having a year supply of debt and food free.

Things to keep as much as possible are medications and diapers if those are things you need on a regular basis.

Credit cards are more and more pushed on people. They are a tool, but can become a crutch that eventually cripples.

1 Timothy 5:8
8 But if any aprovide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

One definition I found said that infidel means a person who does not accept a particular faith. the other definitions listed in the same source were very similar.

72 hour kits should sustain, not make you comfortable. A heavy 72 hour kit can't sustain if you can't carry it.

They quoted from President Eyring's June Ensign 1st Presidency message.
-"Another fallacy is to believe that the choice to accept or not accept the counsel of prophets is no more than deciding whether to accept good advice and gain its benefits or to stay where we are."
-"Every time in my life when I have chosen to delay following inspired counsel or decided that I was an exception, I came to know that I had put myself in harm’s way."

We have more things that make us more efficient and we use our extra time for idleness many times.
Anything that preempt Heavenly Father
We are LDS - Let's Do Something
Might be using funds on our idol that we could be using to be prepared.

It is all going to burn in a disaster anyway so we might as well use our resources wisely.

Life is a downhill escalator. If you stand still, you move backward.

Sunday School
Book of Mormon Lesson 24: “Give Us Strength According to Our Faith … in Christ” p. 107
Alma 13–16

Foreordained - Been given an assignment in the preexistence and have accepted it. You then have to figure out what that is here.

Husband, father, home teacher, and Church calling is the order of responsibility.

Elder Bruce R. McKonkie talked of what it means to enter into the rest of the Lord. Elder Bruce R. “The rest of the Lord, where mortals are concerned, is to gain a perfect knowledge of the divinity of the great latter-day work. [President Joseph F. Smith said,] ‘It means entering into the knowledge and love of God, having faith in his purpose and in his plan, to such an extent that we know we are right, and that we are not hunting for something else; we are not disturbed by every wind of doctrine, or by the cunning and craftiness of men who lie in wait to deceive.’ It is ‘rest from the religious turmoil of the world; from the cry that is going forth, here and there—lo, here is Christ; lo, there is Christ.’ (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., pp. 58, 125–126.) The rest of the Lord, in eternity, is to inherit eternal life, to gain the fulness of the Lord’s glory (D. & C. 84:24.)” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 633).

Sacrament Meeting
First presidency letter about audience participation. They asked speakers to not ask everyone to turn in their scriptures. I read a post by someone commented on this like {gasp} the LDS church was asking people not to use their scriptures. I think it has more to do with not asking for audience participation during your talk. Sacrament meeting is not Sunday School. It is a more reverent meeting. The letter did not ask the members not to turn o the passage of scripture or not to write down the passage for further study later. I think it was simply asking to cut down the requesting of audience participation that can slow down the meeting and can also impact the reverence of the meeting.

Examples of things I have seen that are even more extreme irreverance are:
-"How many y'all read the book..." and waits for a show of hands.
-Asking for certain groups of people to stand up.

Two people were asked that had been asked to give testimonies.
Deuteronomy 32

One of the people giving their testimony also related the fictional story of the man that was asked by God to push on a rock. The man's obedience resulted in him having great strength that the Lord had use for elsewhere. Pushing on the rock seemed futile since the rock hadn't moved.

My wife was the first speaker after the testimonies. I have included her talk below
Beginning of her talk---
I would like to read Alma 34:31-34
31 Yea, I would that ye would come forth and aharden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the bday of your csalvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and dharden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.
32 For behold, this alife is the time for men to bprepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of cthis life is the day for men to perform their dlabors.
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.
34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful acrisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth bpossess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

In the passages of scripture just before this Amulek and Alma are on a mission to reclaim the Zoramites.

The wealthier Zoramites are stuck in their evil ways but the poor Zoramites. who have been mistreated by their brethren because for their great poverty have become humbled, and begin to listen to Alma and Amulek.

Amulek has just testified to them of Christ and His coming to earth to atone for the sins of man. Now he is telling them of the urgency to repent. As we just read in Alma 34:31-34 Amulek goes on to say in verses 35 and 36.
35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become asubjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth bseal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.
36 And this I know, because the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in aunholy temples, but in the bhearts of the crighteous doth he dwell; yea, and he has also said that the righteous shall sit down in his kingdom, to go no more out; but their garments should be made white through the dblood of the Lamb.

It is very interesting that Alma 34 was the given to me to speak on today. Parts of this chapter I had been asked to read over in a meeting I had a few years ago with a member of the stake presidency as I sat in that meeting I asked him if I had to forgive some people who had wronged me before I could go to the temple. He said that depends, are you willing to forgive them. I said, "I don't know. It hurts to much to think about forgiving them." That's when we talked about Alma 34 verses 31-36 which we just read. Where Amulek is encouraging these poor Zoramites to repent and to act now before it is too late. He then reminded me that if I was unwilling to forgive the greater sin was in me. I thought how could that be a greater sin than the pain these people had brought on me? That's when we read in Alma 34 verses 40-41
40 And now my beloved brethren, I would exhort you to have apatience, and that ye bear with all manner of bafflictions; that ye do not crevile against those who do cast you out because of your dexceeding poverty, lest ye become sinners like unto them;
41 But that ye have apatience, and bear with those bafflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions.

He then shared a personal story that really helped. He talked of struggles he had had previously in his life. He said it really helped him when Alma 34:17-29.
17 Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your afaith unto repentance, that ye begin to bcall upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you;
18 Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is amighty to save.
19 Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in aprayer unto him.
20 Cry unto him when ye are in your afields, yea, over all your flocks.
21 aCry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.
22 Yea, cry unto him against the power of your aenemies.
23 Yea, acry unto him against the bdevil, who is an enemy to all crighteousness.
24 Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.
25 Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.
26 But this is not all; ye must apour out your souls in your bclosets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.
27 Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your ahearts be bfull, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your cwelfare, and also for the welfare of dthose who are around you.
28 And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye aturn away the bneedy, and the cnaked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and dimpart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need—I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your eprayer is fvain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as ghypocrites who do deny the faith.
29 Therefore, if ye do not remember to be acharitable, ye are as dross, which the refiners do cast out, (it being of no worth) and is trodden under foot of men.

This wonderful brother went on to tell me that he started praying all the time over everything in his day and big changes came to his life. He felt that if he had followed the steps in these verses sooner he could have realized these changes and blessings in his life sooner.

He did not want me to waist my time, energy, and salvation on a few people who had done me wrong. He encourage me to read over verses 17-29 and than all of Alma chapter 34. I started praying every day over every thing that came to my mind. Forgiveness came and I could then repent of any bad thought I may of had about the ones who wronged me. Then they where no longer my enemies, but people I really had compassion for. Icould then see the hurt they where going through and truly pray for them.

I continued to follow these verses for a time but over time I have not been really opening my heart in prayer or improving my life as I should.

I am very great for the opportunity I have been given to speak on Alma chapter 34 and to be able to remember how importance it once was in my life and how it can be again.

I would like to bear my testimony of pray and it's importance. I know that if we would keep Heavenly Father in our thoughts throughout the day and in every thing we do we would reserve great blessings of peace and happiness. I know that when our hearts and minds are in prayer at all times it makes repenting of the small, everyday sins in our lives so must easier.

I know that Christ came to this earth and died to atone for our sins and if we could but improve our lives just even a little we would see great blessings. I would encourage us all when we go home to read Alma chaper 34 and ponder on the words Amulek shared with those who where afflicted and I say these thing in the name of Jesus Christ amen.
---End of her talk

Second Speaker
Used parts of the article Why Now? Why Me? by Vaughn J. Featherstone of the First Quorum of the Seventy in the January 1984 New Era.

Elder Featherstone had been up for 17 hours and had been away from home. His friend called to give a blessing to a friend's daughter who was in a dire condition at a hospital 30 minutes away. He asked his wife if she wanted to come along and they left right away.

It is not always convenient to serve and yet it is necessary.

Third Speaker
The speaker took thoughts from the July 1977 New Era article If They Will But Serve the God of the Land
by Elder N. Eldon Tanner - First Counselor in the First Presidency

He said, “And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.” Thus the American colonies attained their independence and set up the government of the United States, all under the divine intervention of God in preparing this land for its divine destiny.

Elder Tanner quoted from Lehi, “And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.” (1 Ne. 13:12.)

Be loyal to your native land.

"Celebrating our freedoms as a nation must be more than a parade or fireworks. Let us re-commit.
We currently live in a day when untotalled blessings are ours. To retain those blessing of freedom, we must be much more than spectators or Latter Day Tourists. We have covenanted at baptism, during the sacrament, and in the temples of God to do our part to live righteously and to serve in our Church and community. This land was founded on those principles and using or ignoring those principles, we retain or lose our freedoms. As President Hinckley so often repeated, 'Be wise.'
Additionally, a truly free, obedient people will take care of themselves and not expect endless support from others, churches, groups, or governments OR wish to even pass that responsibility onto others. We are to work and earn our way through life. (Summarized baseline principles from Church Welfare instructions)" - Our Bishop

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