Sunday, May 31, 2009

Church Services This Week at Sullivan Hollow Second Ward Weber Heights Stake Ogden Utah 5-31-09

Priesthood Opening
Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs at Dee Events Center at Weber State University on July 15th. Tickets are free and available for ages 8 and up. Limit six per family.

3 Nephi 11:5-11
5 And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did aopen their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.
6 And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them:
7 Behold my aBeloved Son, bin whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.
8 And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they asaw a Man bdescending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.
9 And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:
10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
11 And behold, I am the alight and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter bcup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in ctaking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the dwill of the Father in all things from the beginning.

Elders' Quorum
The instructor referenced a talk by Elder Richard G. Scott from April 2009 General Conference, Temple Worship: The Source of Strength and Power in Times of Need.

"I strive to participate in all the different ordinances available in the temple." (Elder Scott)

Here are some bullet points Elder Scott shared in his talk (emphasis added):
  • Understand the doctrine related to temple ordinances, especially the significance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.1
  • While participating in temple ordinances, consider your relationship to Jesus Christ and His relationship to our Heavenly Father. This simple act will lead to greater understanding of the supernal nature of the temple ordinances.
  • Always prayerfully express gratitude for the incomparable blessings that flow from temple ordinances. Live each day so as to give evidence to Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son of how very much those blessings mean to you.
  • Schedule regular visits to the temple.
  • Leave sufficient time to be unhurried within the temple walls.
  • Rotate activities so that you can participate in all of the ordinances of the temple.
  • Remove your watch when you enter a house of the Lord.
  • Listen carefully to the presentation of each element of the ordinance with an open mind and heart.
  • Be mindful of the individual for whom you are performing the vicarious ordinance. At times pray that he or she will recognize the vital importance of the ordinances and be worthy or prepare to be worthy to benefit from them.
  • Recognize that much of the majesty of the sealing ordinance cannot be understood and remembered with one live experience. Substantial subsequent vicarious work permits one to understand much more of what is communicated in the live ordinances.
  • Realize that a sealing ordinance is not enduring until after it is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. Both individuals must be worthy and want the sealing to be eternal.
The best way to get the most out of the temple is to not go there and feast and then fast for a month or two before going back.

There are musts, coulds, and shoulds. If we don't set conscious priorities the coulds and shoulds will take the time from the musts.

Sunday School
Lesson 20: The Kingdoms of Glory 110
John 5:28-29

28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the agraves shall bhear his voice,
29 And shall acome forth; they that have done good, unto the bresurrection of life; and they that have done cevil, unto the resurrection of ddamnation.

Joseph Smith was translating the Bible and he had some questions.

The teacher passed out the following talks:
  • Consecrate Thy Performance, Elder Neal A. Maxwell, General Conference April 2002
    • "These remarks are addressed to the imperfect but still striving in the household of faith. As always, my immediate audience is myself."
    • "Spiritual submissiveness is not accomplished in an instant, but by the incremental improvements and by the successive use of stepping-stones. Stepping-stones are meant to be taken one at a time anyway."
    • "We may, for instance, have a specific set of skills which we mistakenly come to think we somehow own. If we continue to cling to those more than to God, we are flinching in the face of the consecrating first commandment. Since God lends us "breath . . . from one moment to another," hyperventilating over these distractions is not recommended! (Mosiah 2:21)."
    • "But if we lack proportion, the next few yards can seem so formidable. Though aware of how God blessed ancient Israel to escape from mighty Pharaoh and his hosts, myopic Laman and Lemuel still lacked faith in God to help them with a mere local Laban."
  • Be Valiant in the Fight of FaithElder Bruce R. McConkie, General Conference October 1974
    • "Members of the Church who have testimonies and who live clean and upright lives, but who are not courageous and valiant, do not gain the celestial kingdom. Theirs is a terrestrial inheritance. Of them the revelation says, 'These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God.' (D&C 76:79.)

      As Jesus said, 'No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.' (Luke 9:62.)"
James 1: 22-23
22 But be ye adoers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a ahearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a bglass:

Celestial is to be one with Christ as he is one with the Father. Vote how he would vote. Do what he would do. Say what he would say.

Those who are not valiant and do not do their duty to the fullest are like a soldier that does not do all of his duty. For example, if a soldier's duty is to guard the camp and he doesn't do all of his duty he could be killed and perhaps jeopardize others. A soldier like that will not be given more responsibilities or rewards and will likely be disciplined.

Sacrament Service
Mosiah 2:16-18
16 Behold, I say unto you that because I said unto you that I had spent my days in your service, I do not desire to boast, for I have only been in the service of God.
17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn awisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the bservice of your cfellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.
18 Behold, ye have called me your king; and if I, whom ye call your king, do labor to aserve you, then ought not ye to labor to serve one another?

"Those who serve will strive to ennoble, build, and lift their fellowmen; therefore, they will find the good in others, and they will not find reason or have time to become offended. They develop the virtue of praying for those who criticize. They don’t expect recognition or reward. They possess the love of Christ." (Elder Carlos A. Amado, Service, a Divine Quality, General Conference April 2008)

Alma 53:20
20 And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for acourage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.

The Lord knows who will be faithful, but often we have to learn about ourselves.

The Terrestrial kingdom includes lukewarm members of the Church. Those who were not valiant in their testimony. Those that know, but don't do.

From the Bulletin
"In October 1856, during a general conference, President Young learned that two hand-cart companies, the Martin company and the Willie company, were traveling late in the season and would face harsh winter weather on the plains of the western United States. He stood at the pulpit as a prophet of God and declared: 'Many of our brethren and sister are on the plains with hand­carts.... And they must be brought here, we must send assistance to them...This community is to send for them and bring them in...'

'That is my religion; that is the dictation of the Holy Ghost that I possess, it is to save people... I will tell you all that your faith, religion, and profession of religion, will never save one should of you in the celestial kingdom of our God, unless you carry out just such principles as I am now teaching you. Go and bring in those people now on the plains.'

As a result of President Young's call to action, wagons with teams of mules, men to drive them and flour and other supplies were immediately sent to rescue the people stranded on the plains." Bishop Richard Edgley, "This Is Your Phone Call", Ensign April 2009, 53 — 55

As we hear council from our church leaders, we need to remember that any request large or small is a call, not from the person giving the council, but from God. Sustaining our leaders means following council we are given by them after praying to know the truthfulness of the things they teach us. This is particularly relevant when it comes to fundamentals such as daily scripture study, daily prayer and family home evening. Your salvation will be largely determined by the things you are doing when only our Heavenly Father is watching.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Church Services This Week at Sullivan Hollow Second Ward Weber Heights Stake Ogden Utah 5-24-09

Priesthood Opening
Doctrine and Covenants 11:12-13
12 And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your atrust in that bSpirit which cleadeth to do dgood—yea, to do ejustly, to walk fhumbly, to gjudge righteously; and this is my Spirit.
13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall aenlighten your bmind, which shall fill your soul with cjoy;

Elders' Quorum
Chapter 33: The Spiritual Gifts of Healing, Tongues, Prophecy, and Discerning of Spirits 379–89
Every gift of the spirit must be cultivated. It is not enough to just be given them.

From the manual:

“We crossed the public square, and entered Brother [Elijah] Fordham’s house. Brother Fordham had been dying for an hour, and we expected each minute would be his last. I felt the power of God that was overwhelming his Prophet. When we entered the house, Brother Joseph walked up to Brother Fordham, and took him by the right hand. … He saw that Brother Fordham’s eyes were glazed, and that he was speechless and unconscious.

“After taking hold of his hand, [the Prophet] looked down into the dying man’s face and said: ‘Brother Fordham, do you not know me?’ At first he made no reply; but we could all see the effect of the Spirit of God resting upon him.

“[Joseph] again said: ‘Elijah, do you not know me?’ With a low whisper, Brother Fordham answered, ‘Yes!’ The Prophet then said, ‘Have you not faith to be healed?’

“The answer, which was a little plainer than before, was: ‘I am afraid it is too late. If you had come sooner, I think I might have been.’ He had the appearance of a man awaking from sleep. It was the sleep of death. Joseph then said: ‘Do you not believe that Jesus is the Christ?’ ‘I do, Brother Joseph,’ was the response.

“Then the Prophet of God spoke with a loud voice, as in the majesty of the Godhead: ‘Elijah, I command you, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, to arise and be made whole!’"

Do we ourselves find that our trials have gone on too long and get hopeless that God will not help?

Faith applies to not just being healed from physical illness, also from spiritual weaknesses that continually work on us. Just like an illness may not be removed from us, so it is with spiritual weakness. We may have to continue to endure them to make us stretch our faith and our character.

Sunday School
Lesson 19: The Plan of Salvation 105
How does knowing the plan of salvation help us to make big decisions in our lives? It may be hard, but we have made decisions to do hard things before (when Father gave us the choice to choose the plan of salvation and come to earth to be tested).

Someone shared that they had a tattoo that they hoped was removed in the resurrection. We all have tattoos on our souls. The goal is to stop injecting ink into them and to repent in order to have the atonement fade them off our soul.

Sacrament Service

“ ‘The teacher’s duty is to watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them’ (D&C 20:53). This is the mandate of the Lord. I hope that home teachers and visiting teachers will experience two things: first, the challenge of the responsibility that is in their great calling, and second, the sweetness of results from their work, particularly with those among us who are less active. I hope that these teachers will get on their knees and pray for direction, and then go to work to bring these wandering prodigals back into the fold of the Church. If home and visiting teachers respond to this challenge, I honestly believe that they will taste the sweet and wonderful feeling which comes of being an instrument in the hands of the Lord in leading someone back into activity in His church and kingdom.

“I am making a plea for us to reach out to our brethren and sisters who have known the beauty and the wonder of this restored gospel for a brief season and then for some reason have left it.

“May all home teachers recognize that they have an inescapable responsibility to go into the homes of the people and teach them to live the gospel principles more faithfully, to see that there is no iniquity or backbiting or evil speaking, to build faith, to see that the families are getting along temporally. That is a very serious responsibility; it really is. But it is not a heavy burden—it just takes a little more faith. It is worthy of our very best effort.” (Instruments of the Lord, Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign May 1997)

“Remember, both quality and quantity home teaching are essential in being an effective home teacher. You should have quality visits, but you should also make contact with each of your families each month. As shepherds to all of your families, both active and less active, you should not be content with only reaching the ninety and nine. Your goal should be 100 percent home teaching every month” (Ensign, May 1987, 51).

From the Bulletin
This weekend and this month we celebrate and honor both our heroes, ancestors, and the restoration of the Priesthood of God.

On this weekend and beyond, let us remember those many persons who have gone before us-those who paid the price for our freedoms and religion-and on whose shoulders we stand. If we are to retain our freedoms and opportunities, we must seek consistent and exacting obedience to our Father in Heaven-for He holds nations in His hands and so Eagerly Yearns to Bless the Obedient.

Though said every week and though we may almost become numb to the message sometimes, exacting and consistent obedience to God's laws and principles will bring us peace, power, capacity, healing, and joy. There is no other way. Through exacting obedience, we will be optimistic and healing, and joy. There is no other way.

Through exacting obedience, we will be optimistic in the face of all issues since we know we are completely on the Lord's side and HE will support us.

Hence, with this REAL optimism and faith built on consistent obedience, we will be aware of problems, but recognize solutions; know about difficulties but, believe

they can be overcome; see negative, but accentuate positives; be exposed to the worst, but expect the best; have reason to complain, but choose to smile.

Know is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. (Johan Wolfgang von Goeth)

THANK YOU to all who understand sacrifice NOW so that others may stand on your shoulders. I am humbled to be numbered among you, the noble and great ones.

The Bishop

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Church Services This Week at Sullivan Hollow Second Ward Weber Heights Stake Ogden Utah 5-17-09

Elders Quorum
There are things that we would consider a persecution with the way certain people address our ideas and ideals. Do we do the same to others with the way we communicate about their ideas? How do we stand up for what is right and against what is wrong without attacking?

"What is man that the servant of God should fear him," (Letter from Joseph Smith and his counselors in the First Presidency to Heber C. Kimball and Brigham Young, Jan. 16, 1839, Liberty Jail, Liberty, Missouri, Church Archives)

Sunday School
Malachi 4
5 ¶ Behold, I will asend you bElijah the prophet cbefore the coming of the dgreat and dreadful eday of the Lord:
6 And he shall aturn the bheart of the cfathers to the dchildren, and the heart of the echildren to their fathers, lest I come and fsmite the gearth with a hcurse.

The Kirkland temple was a meeting place with a few more functions than we see today in meeting houses and less functions than we see in subsequent temples. There were no endowment or sealing rooms since those ordinances had not been revealed yet. The Kirkland temple could perhaps be termed a preparatory temple. The Lord taught the early saints line upon line what to do with the temple.

The Kirkland temple was built because the prophet needed a place to teach the people and the Lord needed a place to teach the prophet and the people. That temple was a little like a temple, a tabernacle, and a meetinghouse all-in-one.

Sacrament Service
1 Nephi 3:7 is an example of obedience to parents and God.
7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I awill go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no bcommandments unto the children of men, save he shall cprepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

A missionary that just returned from Rochester, New York spoke.

Being reverent is more than being quiet. "Reverence is profound respect mingled with love," (David O. McKay, in Conference Report, Apr. 1967, 86)

Sunday's a different day. We do different things. We do things that draw us nearer to Christ. Even though we do that on other days, on Sunday it is our primary, and as much as possible, our only focus.

Satan creates a lot of noise in our lives that we can get too distracted to hear the spirit.

Doctrine and Covenants 9: 8
8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must astudy it out in your bmind; then you must cask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your dbosom shall eburn within you; therefore, you shall ffeel that it is right.

Doctrine and Covenants 25:10
10 And verily I say unto thee that thou shalt lay aside the athings of this bworld, and cseek for the things of a dbetter.

Every good team needs a good coach.

When we come to church we should wear of the best clothes we have. Whatever our best is that is what we should be wearing.

From the Bulletin
We attend church to renew our covenants and to worship God, but our worship is genuine and meaningful only if we do it with an attitude of reverence. Such an attitude can also impact others who attend meetings with us. President Packer said, “Our sacrament and other meetings need renewed attention to assure that they are truly worship services in which members may be spiritually nourished and have their testimonies replenished and in which investigators may feel the inspiration essential to spiritual conversion.” 8

Feelings of reverence ought to be maintained at all times while at church, but particularly during the sacrament. Respectful, contemplative silence should be the norm. Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone of the Seventy commented: “We must prepare and then partake with a broken heart and contrite spirit. The spiritual preparation we make to partake of the sacrament is essential to receiving a remission of our sins.” 9

Priesthood holders who participate in this sacred ordinance should be especially mindful of the need to be reverent. I remember with a smile an incident from my youth when my father demonstrated his belief in this principle. I was a priest at the sacrament table, and my brother Marvin, a deacon, was sitting on the front row directly in front of me. As the bishop began the meeting by sharing the announcements, Marvin and another deacon continued to carry on an intense conversation. Suddenly, my father rose from his bench in the middle of the chapel, made his way to the aisle, and strode toward the front of the chapel. Poor Bishop Powell stopped speaking as my father walked to the front row and firmly took hold of my brother’s arm, stood him up, and escorted him back to the bench where our family was sitting. The bishop then continued with the announcements. I remember a very quiet congregation after that—particularly the row of deacons in front of me. From that time forth, my brother sat quietly in sacrament meeting and was especially reverent when performing his sacramental responsibilities. (Elder Keith L. Smith, "Reverence", Ensign 2003 July)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Church Services This Week at Sullivan Hollow Second Ward Weber Heights Stake Ogden Utah 5-10-09

Priesthood Opening
Doctrine and Covenants 76:5-10
5 For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am amerciful and gracious unto those who bfear me, and delight to honor those who cserve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.
6 Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their aglory.
7 And to them will I areveal all bmysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.
8 Yea, even the wonders of aeternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations.
9 And their awisdom shall be great, and their bunderstanding reach to heaven; and before them the wisdom of the wise shall cperish, and the understanding of the dprudent shall come to naught.
10 For by my aSpirit will I benlighten them, and by my cpower will I make known unto them the dsecrets of my ewill—yea, even those things which feye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.

We, the Latter-day Saints, are a very blessed people.

If we are strictly and consistently obedient to the principles of God then we will have all that God has.

Elders' Quorum
Chapter 31: “God Shall Be with You Forever and Ever”: The Prophet in Liberty Jail 358–68
Prophets throughout the scriptures have been brought to "law" (imprisoned, stoned, exiled, crucified, shot) (Stephen, Jesus, John the Baptist, John the Beloved, Joseph Smith, Abinidi).

Sunday School
Lesson 17: The Law of Tithing and the Law of the Fast 93
“During World War II, my widowed mother supported her three young children on a schoolteacher’s salary that was meager. When I became conscious that we went without some desirable things because we didn’t have enough money, I asked my mother why she paid so much of her salary as tithing. I have never forgotten her explanation: ‘Dallin, there might be some people who can get along without paying tithing, but we can’t. The Lord has chosen to take your father and leave me to raise you children. I cannot do that without the blessings of the Lord, and I obtain those blessings by paying an honest tithing. When I pay my tithing, I have the Lord’s promise that he will bless us, and we must have those blessings if we are to get along’ ” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1994, 43–44; or Ensign, May 1994, 33).

Doctrine and Covenants 119:4
4 And after that, those who have thus been atithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.

Malachi 3:10-11
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.
11 And I will arebuke the bdevourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.

If we are not a farmer do we still have "fruits of our ground"? What are our fruits? Our children, providing for our family, doing well in our profession (not necessarily climbing the corporate ladder, but being good at what we do), doing well in our schooling, food, shelter, clothing...

Doctrine and Covenants 120
1 Verily, thus saith the Lord, the time is now come, that ait shall be bdisposed of by a council, composed of the First Presidency of my Church, and of the bishop and his council, and by my high council; and by mine own voice unto them, saith the Lord. Even so. Amen.

Sacrament Service
Alma 56
47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the aliberty of their bfathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their cmothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their amothers, saying: We bdo not doubt our mothers knew it.

One of the speakers read this poem:
"I love you mother, said little Nell

I love you more than tongues can tell.
Then teased and pouted for half the day
Till her mother rejoiced when she went out to play.

I love you mother, said little John
Forgetting his work, his cap went on.
Then he was off to the garden swing
Leaving his mother the wood to bring

I love you mother, said little Ann
Today I'll help you all I can
Then stepping softly she took the broom
Swept the floor and tidied the room.

I love you mother, again they said
Three little children all going to bed.

Now which one do you suppose really loved Mother the most?"

It is a miracle and a privallege that we can ask and receive answers from God.

From the Bulletin

"Adam and Eve fell that they might have joy. But they didn’t skip merrily out of Eden singing and wishing everyone a nice day. They walked in sorrow into a lonely world, where they earned their bread by the sweat of their brows and learned about joy in the midst of misery and pain. Can you imagine how Eve felt when she learned that her son Cain had taken the life of her son Abel and that God had banished Cain?

How could Mother Eve possibly have found joy in the middle of such affliction? She found it by letting the atonement of Christ heal her pain and sanctify her experience. Indeed, her experience with sin and misery played a crucial role in preparing her for the joy she ultimately found. In Eve’s own words, 'Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.' (Moses 5:11.)

Women in the modern world, like women in the ancient world, go forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. In such a world, we must be spiritually strong and wise as serpents, like Mother Eve, who 'ceased not to call upon God.' (Moses 5:16.)" (Sister Marie K. Hafen, "Celebrating Womanhood", Ensign, June 1992, 50)

"My dear brothers and sisters, I feel it both a privilege and a blessing to be present at this inspirational conference, and I know that the answers to many of today’s problems are to be found in the messages being given by our leaders.

Regardless of the difficulties existing in the world today, we as a people must recognize that we have been blessed abundantly with the resources of this world; yet we know that whatever we have is the Lord’s and that he has blessed us with these things to see how we will use them.

I think it might be said, Life is God’s greatest gift to man, and what we do with our life is our gift to God.

President Brigham Young, in referring to making our life a gift to God, had this to say: “Our religion is worth everything to us and for it we should be willing to employ our time, our talent, our means, our energies, our lives.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. 119.)

And, “If we do right, there will be an eternal increase among this people in talent, strength and intellect, and earthly wealth, from this time, henceforth, and forever.” (JD, vol. 1, p. 110.)

“No blessing that is sealed upon us will do us any good unless we live for it.” (JD, vol. 11, p. 117.)

It is interesting to note that here, as elsewhere in the scriptures, promises of earthly wealth and increased talents are made to those who live the gospel principles, and counsel is given to use our talents and wealth for the building of the kingdom. Many scriptures, however, contain words of admonition regarding temptations brought about through the acquisition of wealth and its use for unrighteous purposes.

The great apostle Paul, in writing to his beloved associate Timothy, told him that “the love of money is the root of all evil,” and to “charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute. …” (1 Tim. 6:10, 17–18.)

Throughout the history of the Church its leaders have taught the value of the principles of work, industry, and thrift; and as they have been practiced, Church members have prospered in numerous ways. Likewise, members have been counseled to establish and maintain their economic independence, and employment-creating industries have been encouraged.

In furtherance of these teachings, every man who has property and means should live so as to obtain wisdom to know how to use them in the best possible way to produce the greatest amount of good for himself, for his family, for his fellowmen, and for the kingdom of God." (Elder Franklin D. Richards, Ensign June 1971, 45)