Alma 8:18 - obey and obey quickly
18 Now it came to pass that after Alma had received his message from the angel of the Lord he returned speedily to the land of Ammonihah. And he entered the city by another way, yea, by the way which is on the south of the city of Ammonihah.
The Elders' Quorum president asked us to encourage our home teach families to be prepared (food, finances, etc.) and help them where we can.
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith - Chapter 19: Stand Fast through the Storms of Life
We listed some of the trials in the life of Joseph Smith.
We read a quote from Elder Jeffery R. Holland, "Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?
"You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.
"Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.
"For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.
"If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, 'Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,' 16 then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way." (Missionary Work and the Atonement, Ensign March 2001)
The manual paraphrased, “Let us not sorrow as ‘those without hope’ [see 1 Thessalonians 4:13]"
One in the class pointed out that we shouldn't get bogged down with what the reason is for what we go through, but just that there is a reason and God knows what it is, so have hope.
It was pointed out that looking at each other at face value we have no idea what trials we each go through every day.
Book of Mormon Lesson 39: “Behold, My Joy Is Full” 173
3 Nephi 17
Someone talked about what a change we could have if we pondered our Sunday lessons for next week when we got home from church and then thought on them throughout the week. What if we pondered them with our family before or after the lessons.
When we were young we were taught to ponder and commit to our standards before decisions in life presented themselves that would cross those standards.
Someone explained that pondering is preparation.
A missionary that just returned from a mission to Malaga Spain spoke to us.
He shared a story from what I thought he said was a talk called "Need for Factual and Spiritual Testimony" by LeGrand Richards. I did some searching for such a talk and came up blank, so if someone finds it add it to the comments here, please. Especially if it is a link to something on the internet.
The story was about a 9 year old boy that talked to a lady about the Church. She was so impressed by a child approaching her that she did not say no.
After the missionary's talk the bishop said a few words welcoming him back. He also encouraged us to welcome the missionary back and visit with him, but to do it in the hall and keep the chapel quiet, reverent, and sacred.
The last speaker was a high councilman from the stake.
He addressed why our Sunday session of stake conference will be held at three in the afternoon. This appears to be causing some grousing of some in the stake. He said that other stake conferences this time being held in the tabernacle that same day have general authorities attending to conduct business of some sort. Since we have no general authorities attending ours they are having us go later to be respectful of the general authorities' time since they are traveling.
From the Bulletin:
Sometimes in the routine of "doing things" and in "being so busy," we forget the immeasurable blessing it is to be members of the only true Church on earth. Have you ever wondered what you would be doing, who you would be, or how sad your life might be if you were without the strength and guidance of the Restored Gospel?
Because of the Restored Gospel, we stand on the shoulders of all those who have came before us and sacrificed so much. With such remarkable blessings, we also have responsibilities to "add value to" that which we have received from God and from others (see the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 for further explanation).
In my daily, personal scripture study of Thursday, I read Alma 60 in which Captain Moroni warns in vs. 21, "...do you suppose that the Lord will deliver us, while...[we] do not make use of the means which the Lord has provided for us?" He gives us time, money, truth, etc. and expects us to continuously seek out opportunities to use them for the benefit of members and nonmembers.
I re-invite each of us to re-examine our lives. What can we EACH do in some small way to create significant improvements and to add value (Alma 37:6,7) to our situations? What needs to be taken out of and/or added into our daily PLANNED lives to make such significant impacts. Through study, pondering, prayer and planning, we each will discover what HE feels needs our attention. Let us be not just hearers of the word, but doers (James 1:22-25). -- The Bishop