Sunday, March 08, 2009

Ward Priesthood Meeting Sullivan Hollow Second Ward Weber Heights Stake Ogden Utah 3-8-09

We watched the movie Fireproof and discussed it a little. I had been skeptical since I knew it was another Kirk Cameron religious movie. I like Kirk Cameron as an actor and maybe even as a person, but the Left Behind series, while entertaining, left me with doubts about the soundness of some of the doctrines it was based on.

It turned out that the doctrines were much more...neutral. Is that the right word? The story was a pretty good story and very touching.

As the main character changes their ways and is acting different their spouse notes something like, "this is not normal" or "you're not acting normal". The main character responds with, "This is the new normal."

The bishop had a couple of handouts for us. The first contained several talks by prophets, apostles, and general authorities, which I am listing below.

Below is the content of the second hand out.

Our Reason For Being on Earth
To fulfill the mission our Father has created for all of His children – namely to be tried, tested and proven worthy to receive immortality and exaltation...and to do it joyfully.

Goal: To Become Godly Men With Deliberate Plans to Become Such.

A. Those who bear the priesthood of God truly are a royal priesthood—even a chosen generation, as the Apostle Peter declared (see 1 Pet. 2:9).
B. Godly men choose to be and make themselves free from the blood and sins of this generation.
C. "Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow and act and reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character and reap an eternal destiny."
D. From "Joy in Christ," President Ezra Taft Benson, Liahona, October 1986

In his Lectures on Faith, the Prophet Joseph Smith listed six divine attributes of God that men must understand in order to have faith in Him. The Book of Mormon bears constant witness that Christ possesses all these attributes.

First, God is the Creator and upholder of all things. King Benjamin said, "He created all things, ... he has all wisdom, and all power." (Mosiah 4:9.)

Second, God is distinguished by the excellency of His character, His mercy, long-suffering, and goodness. Alma testified that Christ is "full of grace, equity, and truth, full of patience, mercy, and long-suffering." (Alma 9:26.)

Third, God changes not. Mormon revealed that "God is not ... a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity." (Moro. 8:18.)

Fourth, God cannot lie. The brother of Jared declared, "Thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie." (Ether 3:12.)

Fifth, God is no respecter of persons. Mormon testified that "God is not a partial God." (Moro. 8:18.) He commands us to become as little children -- "repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in (His] name" (3 Ne. 11:37). The childlike qualities the Lord had reference to are developed by yielding to "the enticings of the Holy Spirit," so as to become "submissive, 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." Truly, such a person "becometh a saint" as spoken by Mosiah (Mosiah 3:19).

Sixth, God is a God of love. Of this divine attribute Nephi wrote that the Lord "doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life." (2 Ne. 26:24.)

We must be silent before we can listen.
We must listen before we can learn.
We must learn before we can prepare.
We must prepare before we can serve.
We must serve before we can lead.


From "The Family: A Proclamation to the World"

"Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other..."

Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. 1 Jn. 3: 15 4 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. D&C 121:37, 39 37 That they [Priesthoods] may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. 39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

· Consider the difference — "Church-going man" and a "Godly man?"

· The closer you are to the Savior, the closer you are to your spouse.

· How does selfishness versus selflessness make a difference?

· God does not judge by our standards, but by His.

· Have you truly and fully submitted to Heavenly Father?

· Have you REALLY accepted Jesus into your life? Really.

· What does it mean to STUDY your spouse?

· Among other things, porn says this to your spouse, "When did I cease being good enough for him?" It is a serious violation of your covenants with God and your spouse.

· Christ says that He is the husband and the Church is His wife. What did He do for the Church? This metaphor is symbolic of where our intentions should be. Indeed, President David 0. Mckay said that the first question the Lord will ask us is how we treated our wives.

· How do you show love over and over to someone who may reject you? Ask the Savior. How many times do we reject Him, His counsel, His leaders' guidance and yet He still reaches out to us. For marriage to work, love must be given without ANY conditions.

· How do I lead my heart? Your heart follows where you invest your time, money, & energy. Hmmm. Be aware of your heart. Guard against temptations. Don't wait until you FEEL LIKE IT or the time may never come. Choose to take your heart off of the wrong things and put it onto the right things. Pour your heart into your relationship with God, your wife and your children.

You cannot let your heart lead you. You must lead your heart. "Choose ye this day..."

"Let my assure you, Brethren, that some day you will have a personal Priesthood interview with the Savior, Himself. If you are interested, I will tell you the order in which He will ask you to account for your earthly responsibilities.
First, He will request an accountability report about your relationship with your wife. Have you actively been engaged in making her happy and ensuring that her needs have been met as an individual?
Second, He will want an accountability report about each of your children individually. He will not attempt to have this for simply a family stewardship but will request information about your relationship to each and every child.
Third, He will want to know what you personally have done with the talents you were given in the pre-existence.
Fourth, He will want a summary of your activity in your church assignments. He will not be necessarily interested in what assignments you have had, for in his eyes the home teacher and a mission president are probably equals, but He will request a summary of how you have been of service to your fellowmen in your Church assignments.
Fifth, He will have no interest in how you earned your living, but if you were honest in all your dealings.
Sixth, He will ask for an accountability on what you have done to contribute in a positive manner to your community, state, country, and the world."
David O. McKay

"We have been reserved in the spirit world for thousands of years, to stand in the flesh in the latter days, and to take God’s kingdom and build it up. Understanding these things then, what are we, as Latter-day Saints, thinking about? We have got a great warfare to fight. Lucifer, the son of the morning, and all his hosts, are united against us. We are but a little handful, compared with the inhabitants of the earth. There never were but few men and women, in any age of the world, who were independent enough to reject evil and to serve the Lord. But we have been counted worthy to be numbered as His people. It is time, therefore, that we arose, that we awoke, and that, clothed upon with the power of God and the Holy Priesthood, we should magnify this Priesthood and obtain the blessings belonging thereto." (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff, Chapter 3: The Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, 25)

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