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?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday July 20, 2008 - Services Sullivan Hollow Second Ward

This Week at Church
Priesthood Opening

Malachi 3:8-10
8 ¶ aWill a man brob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In ctithes and offerings.
9 Ye are acursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring ye all the atithes into the storehouse, that there may be bmeat in mine house, and cprove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not dopen you the ewindows of heaven, and pour you out a fblessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Elders' Quorum
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith - Chapter 13: Obedience: “When the Lord Commands, Do It” p. 158–70
True leaders lead by example. I read something on this recently in the book One Lord...On Faith by Mark E. Peterson.
"To lead youth, we must be leaders in very deed.
We ourselves must hold to every standard which we hope to make part of their lives.
We must be as firm in the faith as we hope they will be." p.4

And from page 11 of the same book, "As the shepherd leads, so moves the flock."

In his talk Obedience—Life’s Great Challenge - Elder Donald L. Staheli Of the Seventy quotes President Ezra Taft Benson. “When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power.”

The goal is to get to the point that we are not just doing our duty because it is expected, but because we want to do it. Perhaps we start out doing it because it is expected, but we keep going and we will grow and eventually get there.

1 Samuel 15
22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great adelight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the bvoice of the Lord? Behold, to cobey is better than dsacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of erams.

Doing our duty because we truly want to be obedient is better than doing it because it is a sacrifice for us.

Sunday School
Book of Mormon Lesson 27: “All Things Denote There Is a God” p120
Alma 30-31
We have prophets, scriptures, and the gift of the Holy Ghost to prove to us that Christ lives, but we have to test it out for ourselves.

An Antichrist can be a person, a philosophy, or an organization. It was expressed that an Antichrist has much of the same properties as Idols. They lead us away from doing our duty or learning the truth. Antichrists set themselves up to sound like truth.

Alma 30:13-15
13 O ye that are bound down under a afoolish and a vain hope, why do ye yoke yourselves with such foolish things? Why do ye look for a Christ? For no man can bknow of anything which is to come.
14 Behold, these things which ye call prophecies, which ye say are handed down by holy prophets, behold, they are foolish traditions of your fathers.
15 How do ye know of their surety? Behold, ye cannot know of things which ye do not asee; therefore ye cannot know that there shall be a Christ.

Korihor says that the followers of Christ are bound by the yoke of the gospel and that it is weighing them down. Christ also referred to it as a yoke, but he talked of himself being yoked with us and helping us carry it and make it light.

He also says that one cannot know of things they cannot see. Someone expressed that that philosophy is like a child's perspective when playing peekaboo. If they cover their eyes they think you are not there. They also try to hide from you by covering their eyes.
  • First Korihor teaches against Christ saying he doesn't exist.
  • Then he preaches against the prophets. By saying that no one can know of things to come of of things you cannot see.
  • Then he preaches against the people and their fathers. He said they believed it because they had a frenzied mind.
He taught them to rely on their own minds and strength. Many continue to think that science knows so much when it is constantly being discovered that what we thought was scientific fact is in fact untrue. For example, the world is flat. Based upon what they perceived the learned men of the day deduced that it must be flat.

Sacrament Meeting
First Speaker
Our spiritual trial in our day are going to be as hard as the physical trials of the pioneers.

Next one of the youth reported on a camp out he went on recently.

The choir sang Love One Another. They merged it with some other upper room song. One of the men sang a solo accompanied by piano and violin.

Second Speaker
A missionary that just return from a Spanish speaking mission in Chicago.

Third Speaker - Our high councilman
Symbolism allows the human mind to expand upon the meaning.

Raising our arms to sustain people who are called is a symbol of a covenant to serve each other.

An angel asked Adam why he offered sacrifices. The angel then taught him that it was a symbol. Moses 5
5 And he gave unto them commandments, that they should aworship the Lord their God, and should offer the bfirstlings of their cflocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was dobedient unto the commandments of the Lord.
6 And after many days an aangel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer bsacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.
7 And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a asimilitude of the bsacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of cgrace and dtruth.

What happened with you this week at Church?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday July 13, 2008 - Services Sullivan Hollow Second Ward

Priesthood Opening
The bishop talked about taking pen and paper with you when you pray .

Doctrine and Covenants 88:77-78
77 And I give unto you a commandment that you shall ateach one another the bdoctrine of the kingdom.
78 Teach ye diligently and my agrace shall attend you, that you may be binstructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;

Elders Quorum
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith Chapter 12: Proclaim Glad Tidings to All the World p.148–57
4 steps to member missionary work.
1. Be prepared - read scriptures and gain testimony.
2. Love those around you - serve others, pray to love.
3. Pray with faith for help to do your job.
4. Open your mouth -"Example helps, but you have to speak to share a testimony."

Wilford Woodruff, the fourth President of the Church, recalled the following words of the Prophet Joseph Smith: “The world is full of darkness. Sin and wickedness is overwhelming the world as the waters cover the great deep. The devil rules over the world in a great measure. The world will war against you; the devil will, earth will, and hell will. But … you must preach the Gospel, do your duty, and the Lord will stand by you. Earth and hell shall not prevail against you.”

Sunday School
-Gave up weapons of rebellion - What are our weapons of rebellion?
-They took a new name for themselves to distinguish themselves. They also chose to act in a way to honor their new name.
-It is important to make and keep covenants.
-The Anti-Lehi-Nephis would've rather died than to take the risk that they might break their covenant to God.
-Rather than take the life of another they would rather give their own.
-If something tempts us we should avoid it completely.
-If something uplifts us we should embrace it.

Below are some notes that my wife took in this same class.
Alma 23:1-7
Lamanites are converted to the gospel and give up all weapons of rebellion and never feel away from the gospel.

How can we give up our weapons of rebellion and never fall away from Christ?

Alma 24
How are we different from others? (dress, word of wisdom, happy)

How can we be grateful in times of hardships and be grateful for the growth of a trial?

Bury weapons (rebellion) deep to not be tempted again.

How should we keep covenants? A life change. What are we willing to do to keep our covenants with God? Giving up idleness etc.

The effort it takes to give up all can bring about that change of heart.

Alma 24:30
30 And thus we can plainly discern, that after a people have been once aenlightened by the bSpirit of God, and have had great cknowledge of things pertaining to righteousness, and then have dfallen away into sin and transgression, they become more ehardened, and thus their state becomes fworse than though they had never known these things.

Sacrament Meeting
Youth Speaker
He gave the boy scout oath and explained what it means.

First Adult Speaker
We have been chosen to run the last leg of a long relay race that was started by Adam and Eve.

Second Adult Speaker
Isaiah 2: 3
3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us ago up to the bmountain of the Lord, to the chouse of the God of Jacob; and he will dteach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of eZion shall go forth the flaw, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

Ephesians 6: 12
12 For we awrestle not bagainst cflesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the drulers of the edarkness of this world, against spiritual fwickedness in high places.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sunday July 6, 2008 - Services Sullivan Hollow Second Ward

This Week at Church
Priesthood Opening

Doctrine and Covenants 121:34-36
34 Behold, there are many acalled, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?
35 Because their ahearts are set so much upon the things of this bworld, and caspire to the dhonors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—
36 That the arights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be bcontrolled nor handled only upon the cprinciples of righteousness.

Elders' Quorum
The greatest gift God has for us is eternal life.

Be generous in providing service.

There is a difference between doing and being. We can go help someone move because that is what we do or what is expected of us or we can do it because that is who we are.

There are lists of things to do, but have they made an impact on who we are?

Sunday School
Book of Mormon Lesson 25: “They Taught with Power and Authority of God” p.112
Alma 17-18
The instructor gave a handout which I have included below:
Begin Handout---
Fulfilling the Promise Made to Abraham
"My beloved brethren, you and I today and always, are to bless all people in all the nations of the earth. You and I, today and always, are to bear witness of Jesus Christ and declare the message of the Restoration.

You and I, today and always, are to invite all to receive the ordinances of salvation. Proclaiming the gospel is not a part-time priesthood obligation. It is not simply an activity in which we engage for a limited time or an assignment we must complete as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Rather, missionary work is a manifestation of our spiritual identity and heritage. We were foreordained in the premortal existence and born into mortality to fulfill the covenant and promise God made to Abraham. We are here upon the earth at this time to magnify the priesthood and to preach the gospel. That is who we are and that is why we are here--today and always."

Elder David A. Bednar, "Becoming a Missionary", Ensign, Nov. 2005, 47
---End handout

The teacher asked a guy that went on his mission to Russia to share some of his trials and great experiences from his mission to compare to the experiences of the sons of Mosiah going to the Ammonites.

Alma 17: 9, 11
9 And it came to pass that they journeyed many days in the wilderness, and they fasted much and aprayed much that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them, that they might be an binstrument in the hands of God to bring, if it were possible, their brethren, the Lamanites, to the knowledge of the truth, to the knowledge of the baseness of the ctraditions of their fathers, which were not correct.
• • •
11 And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be apatient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good bexamples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.

The teacher said, "We are the Lord's can opener." When commenting on being an instrument in the hands of God.

Ammon was presented with the Lamonites stealing the flocks to be able to teach the king. How often are we presented with adversity to help us with the tasks that we have to perform in life?

What happened with you this week at Church?

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